Consultation on the new business court, the Rolls Building, which will house the Commercial Court, together with other specialist business related divisions, is now under way. The current plans include 29 court rooms and 12 hearing rooms for the new court. Judges will not have their own court but will be assigned a courtroom on a needs basis. The plan includes two "supercourts", as well as conference rooms and machine rooms to assist with IT systems.
The recent report of the Commercial Court Working Party highlighted the further technological resources required for the efficient running of heavy and complex cases in particular. At present technology is only used at trial if it is funded by the parties. The Report notes that this issue is currently being considered by the government, but it is unlikely that any solutions will be found before the move to the new building.
We understand that the design plan for the new court will be finished by early next year when fit-out contracts will be signed. The new court is expected to be operational by 2010.