Taking place on 29th June 2017, the opening panel of the CDR Summer Litigation Symposium 2017 was titled 'Assessing the state of civil justice in 2017' and featured joint head of 20 Essex Street Christopher Hancock QC. Having assisted the coordination of the Bar Council's response to consultation on the 2011/2012 Jackson reforms and former COMBAR Chairman his expertise was called upon to consider the issues of the implementation of the reforms suggested by Lord Justice Briggs and Lord Justice Jackson on commercial litigation practice, the modernisation of the civil justice system generally - including the state of the judiciary in the higher courts, and their management of the Business and Property Courts - and how they will affect commercial clients, their future impact on London’s standing as a centre for international justice and key issues to watch out for.

On the topic of Brexit, Hancock strongly endorsed the role arbitration would play following Brexit thanks to the high quality of both judges and arbitrators, adding that he felt choice of law clauses would be respected.

When discussing the Business and Property Court, he noted it would preserve the specialist jurisdictions, but give them a distinct branding and catch-all description, while also allowing for greater co-operation between London and the regions, and help fulfil the objectives under the Briggs reforms.

Turning to the point of disclosure Hancock noted, “disclosure has always been a costly part of litigation”, too often, he opined, it was a process that parties do not think about sufficiently early enough in advance of the Case Management Conference.

A full review of the topics discussed at the Symposium can be found on the CDR website.