The Business and Property Courts were launched in July 2017 and became operational on 2 October 2017. They have been created as a single umbrella for specialist civil jurisdictions across England and Wales, and have been heralded by the Ministry of Justice as a progressive step forward as the UK prepares for Brexit.

In London, these specialist civil jurisdictions are all housed together in the Rolls Building on Fetter Lane. Business and Property courts have also been established in the five main centres outside of London where specialist business similar to that in the Rolls Building is undertaken: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds and Manchester. Newcastle and Liverpool will follow shortly. The main centre for Business and Property Courts in Wales is in Cardiff, but judges on the Welsh circuit will also sit in other venues in Wales when appropriate and practicable.

Before the launch of the Business and Property Courts, cases in the Admiralty, Commercial Court, Chancery Division and Technology & Construction Courts all took place in the Rolls Building in central London. It is an impressive court with 31 courtrooms, including three ‘super courts’ which can host highly complex multi-handed disputes with state-of-the-art technology. According to figures published by the Ministry of Justice, approximately 600 trials and 20,000 judicial hearings are hosted in the Rolls Building each year. It is one of the largest centres for financial, business and property litigation in the world.

Jan-Mar 2018 issue

Gordon Dadds LLP