• 29/06/2020

Following a suggestion from court users, from Tuesday 3 March 2020, a Judge will be available, initially for one hour, once a week, to assist with resolving practice issues arising in relation to cases in the Business and Property Courts (including the Circuit Commercial Court, the Technology and Construction Court and the Business and Property Work in the County Court).

A list of the proposed time and dates is attached for information.  The identity of the Judge and the time and venue will be publicised in the cause list in the usual way under the heading “Practice Issues”.  If the scheme proves successful, it may be possible to extend it to more than one day per week.

There is no fixed list of matters that might be suitable to be dealt with by the Judge.  However, such matters should not be contentious and should be capable of being dealt with in a maximum of 15 minutes without detailed pre-reading.  Examples of suitable matters might include the making of consent orders, vacating or re-fixing listed hearings by consent, addressing queries as to the appropriate level of judge to request for a hearing, or expediting the sealing of an order in an urgent case.

It will not be necessary to issue a formal application to have a matter considered by the Judge under this scheme, but the Practice Issues facility should not be used as a means of by-passing the need to do so where appropriate, and the Judge may require the issue of a formal application and payment of a fee as a condition of assisting in an appropriate case.  Nor should the facility be used in order to obtain guidance on a contentious issue under the Disclosure Pilot.

It is hoped that it will be possible to accommodate “walk-in” cases.  However, the facility will only be available to legal representatives, and priority will be given to those who provide advance notice to the Court by email to [email protected] by noon on the day, accompanied by any relevant documents and a short note outlining the assistance sought.

The operation of the scheme will be kept under review, and feedback will be sought from court users.

Mr. Justice Snowden
Vice-Chancellor of the County Palatine of Lancaster
Supervising Judge of the Business and Property Courts for the North and Northeast Circuits