New Business and Property Courts: An Update

Print publication


Walker Morris has previously reported the introduction of The Business and Property Courts, a new umbrella specialist business dispute resolution jurisdiction comprising the specialist civil courts (including the Commercial Court, the Technology and Construction Court and the courts of the Chancery Division dealing with financial services, intellectual property, competition and insolvency).

The judiciary initially announced that the newly named courts would take effect as from June 2017 but we have now been informed that the launch has been postponed due to the general election and that the Business and Property Courts will now come into effect in October.

The new Business and Property Courts will preserve the familiar practices of the existing courts (so no immediate procedural changes are anticipated), but will allow for greater flexibility in the cross-deployment of judges with specialist expertise. There will be Business and Property Courts in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and Cardiff (with expansion to Newcastle and Liverpool also likely), enabling greater connection between work undertaken in the regions and in London.

The judiciary has stated that the new structure will enhance the UK’s reputation for international business dispute resolution. It is to be hoped that the increased flexibility, the closer working and the enhanced regional connection may ultimately result in increased efficiency and improved service delivery for business court users.