The judges of the Commercial Court are now considering feedback they have received on the procedural reforms which have been trialled in a pilot scheme since February 2008. It has been reported that an amended Commercial Court Guide will be published by Easter, incorporating those changes to procedure which the judges decide to adopt, following the lessons learned in the pilot. The reforms were initially recommended by the so-called Long Trials Working Party, set up by the court in 2007, and include significant changes to Commercial Court procedure. They require more focus on the key issues in the case and on increased judicial case management.
Although the court did not receive much substantive feedback during the trial, in December it issued a questionnaire to court users and two panel discussions have been held, in December and January respectively, to obtain the views of court users on the reforms and how they were working in practice. Herbert Smith's view is that is too early to come to any definitive views on the pilot and it should be extended before any changes are made to the Guide. Click here for more details.