The 10th edition of the Commercial Court Guide (formerly Admiralty and Commercial Courts Guide) was published on 12 September 2017 and the amendments came into force immediately. The most significant amendments deal with electronic working, the introduction of the Business and Property Courts, increased emphasis on setting out what is ‘common ground’ between the parties, more emphasis on the menu options for disclosure—with standard disclosure not being the default position, greater control of expert evidence, restrictions in trial length and an increase in the detail to be supplied by parties when seeking consent orders.
What is the status of the Commercial Court Guide (the guide)?
The guide is intended to promote the efficient conduct of litigation in the Commercial Court and the Admiralty Court. It is also used for cases in the Financial List and supplements the Circuit Commercial (Mercantile) Court Guide. The guide does not provide a complete blueprint for litigation but provides guidance to be adopted flexibly and adapted to the exigencies of the particular case. The guide supplements but does not override the Civil Procedure Rules and Practice Directions or fetter the discretion of the judges (Introduction).
What are the key changes in the new edition?
The keys changes in the edition cover:
- Change of name
- Business and Property Courts and Financial List
- Electronic working
- Case management and evidence – common ground’
- Limiting trial
- Specific disclosure
- Expert evidence
- Particulars of claim, defence and reply
- Applications and orders
- Skeleton arguments
- Freezing injunctions and search orders
- Litigants in person
- Restructure of the appendices