The Judicial Executive Board has approved plans for the specialist jurisdictions of the High Court of England & Wales to be known as “The Business and Property Courts of England & Wales”. A press release, as attached below, was issued by the Judicial Office on Monday 12 March 2017. There is a launch event of the Business and Property Courts planned to take place at the Rolls Building on Wednesday 7 June 2017. The Lord Chancellor and City institutions have been very supportive of the proposal, which aims to give the specialist jurisdictions an intelligible user-friendly denomination.

The specialist jurisdictions in England & Wales comprise the Commercial Court, (including the Admiralty 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). In London, these specialist jurisdictions operate together at the Rolls Building.

There will also be Business & Property Courts in the 5 main regional centres where specialist business is undertaken, namely Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol and Cardiff. It is hoped that in due course Business & Property Courts may also be established in Newcastle and Liverpool.

The advantages expected from the new Business & Property Courts can be briefly summarised as follows:-

The “Business & Property Courts” will be a user-friendly understandable name for UK plc’s international dispute resolution jurisdictions. Our legal services providers will be able to convey to international and domestic clients an all-encompassing picture of the courts’ offering.
The Business & Property Courts will continue to offer the best court-based dispute resolution service in the world, served by a top class independent specialist judiciary.
The Business & Property Courts will be a single umbrella for business specialist courts across England and Wales. There will be a super-highway between the Business & Property Courts at the Rolls Building and those in the regions to ensure that international businesses and domestic enterprises are equally supported in the resolution of their disputes.
It will facilitate the flexible cross-deployment of judges with suitable expertise and experience to sit in business and property cases across the newly named courts.
It will build on the reputation and standing of the Commercial Court, the TCC and the courts of the Chancery Division, while allowing for the familiar procedures and practices of those jurisdictions to be retained.