The Business and Property Courts of England and Wales

The Business and Property Courts of England and Wales

Published: 16 August 2017

Staying at the heart of international dispute resolution 

Background

As the United Kingdom prepares to exit the European Union, steps are being taken to ensure that England and Wales retains its reputation as the ‘go to’ jurisdiction for international dispute resolution.

There are many advantages to conducting litigation in England and Wales. Indeed, the Lord Chief Justice has recently commented that the overall cost of UK dispute resolution ‘compares favourably’ to alternative jurisdictions. In its present state, England and Wales is recognised as one of the fairest and most adaptable systems in the world – particularly in respect of its ability to adapt court procedures to meet the requirements of a particular case.

Irrespective of this position, the ‘business’ Courts of England and Wales previously consisted of the Commercial Court (including the Mercantile Court), the Technology and Construction Court and the courts of the Chancery Division. Whilst these courts all have different names, they all fundamentally deal with matters concerning business and property.

A change of name

In view of this, and from 4 July 2017, these courts will collectively be known as The Business and Property Courts of England and Wales (‘BPC’). This change in name demonstrates the forward thinking attitude of the jurisdiction to international parties.

Cross deployment of judges

In addition to the name change, it will come as comfort for litigants that the BPC will allow for cross-deployment of judges. Judges from the previous ‘business’ Courts can now be deployed across the BPC to ensure that they are assigned to cases in which they have requisite expertise. This ‘umbrella’ approach means that parties opting for dispute resolution in England and Wales can expect to see judges who are familiar with the commercial pressures they face and the specific dispute at hand.

Above all, the changes show the ability of courts in England and Wales to modernise and adapt to changes required to maintain their well-regarded status. Even with international jurisdictions seeking to take advantage of Brexit, it is hoped these changes will uphold England and Wales’ reputation within the international playing field for dispute resolution.

For more information about how the Fletcher Day Dispute Resolution team can help with domestic or international litigation, arbitration or mediation please contact Jovita Vassallo on +44 (0)20 7632 1439 or email jovita@fletcherday.co.uk



The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.