A new umbrella name for a number of specialist jurisdictions of the High Court was announced in March 2017. Launch events have been taking place recently across the country for the new 'Business and Property Courts', with the courts due to go live on 02 October 2017.
There are a number of driving factors for the change, including ensuring that the Courts are operating under a user-friendly name known across the world, in the same way that the Commercial Court already is. In addition, it is intended that the regional specialist court centres across the country - currently Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds and Manchester - are joined up with the London Business and Property Courts at the Rolls Building such that there is a "super-highway" between the Rolls Building and the regions, on the basis that no case should be too big to be tried outside London (something which was recommended by Lord Justice Briggs and accepted by the Judicial Executive Board). This should help to reduce the pressure on courts in the Rolls Building, with waiting times less in the regional centres. Liverpool and Newcastle may also see Business and Property Courts being launched in those regions in due course.
The Business and Property Courts will have the following primary Courts or Lists within it:
- Commercial Court
- Admiralty Court
- Commercial Circuit Court (previously the Mercantile Court)
- Technology & Construction Court
- Financial List
- Business List (includes all the cases that are now issued in the Chancery Division)
- Company & Insolvency List
- Intellectual Property List
- Trusts & Probate List
- Competition List
- Revenue List
Further information can be found on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website - https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/.