New Court for businesses in shake up for regions’ court services

A new Court has been launched in Leeds to modernise the way business and property cases are heard.

Aimed at improving services in the region, specialist civil courts covering areas including commerce, construction, engineering, technology, financial services, competition, and insolvency are being brought under the umbrella of the brand new Business and Property Court of England and Wales. The new Court will be based in the Leeds Combined Court Centre, 1 Oxford Row, Leeds.

The specialist courts being merged are:

  • the Commercial Court, (including the Admiralty Court and Circuit Commercial Court, formerly the Mercantile Court),
  • the Technology and Construction Court (TCC), and
  • the Courts of the Chancery Division (including those dealing with financial services, intellectual property, competition, and insolvency).

The new arrangements will preserve the familiar practices and procedures of these Courts, whilst allowing for more flexible cross-deployment of judges with suitable expertise and experience to hear appropriate business and property cases.

The new Court will be operational from October 2017 and was formally launched at a special reception at BPP University in Leeds on 10 July 2017. Solicitors, barristers and court users from the business community, joined members of the judiciary and the Court Service to hear from the Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Geoffrey Vos and the Vice Chancellor, Mr Justice Norris, and had a chance to ask questions about how the new Court will operate.

Leeds Law Society, which represents solicitors in the city, and helped organise and promote the event, has welcomed the new Court. Sue Harris, Immediate Past President and Chair of the Leeds Law Society’s Court Liaison Group said:

“I am delighted that solicitors, other practitioners and court users from the region’s business community have had a chance to find out more about the introduction of the new Business and Property Court. Leeds is a very important legal centre and the changes promises to enhance the connection between the work undertaken in this region and London. This development is welcome as it builds on the commitment from the judiciary, Court Service and practitioners in Leeds, to ensure that first rate access to justice continues to be available for businesses and other court users in our region”.

One of five regional centres across the county, Leeds Business and Property Court is an important part of the innovation, with the Government hoping that this change will guarantee quality and modernisation of the justice system.

Speaking to guests at the launch event, Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court of England and Wales, said:

“I am delighted about the enthusiasm, even excitement that the launch of the Business & Property Courts has generated amongst the legal community and business users generally, both in the regions and in Leeds.

“When the Business & Property Courts go live on 2 October 2017, the specialist jurisdictions of our courts will all be using names that national and international business people can readily understand.   The judges of the Business & Property Courts are high calibre forward looking people, who understand the importance of providing a state of the art service to court users.”

More information about the Business and Property court can be found at www.judiciary.gov.uk

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