This article has been submitted by Greenaway Scott
On 24 July 2017 Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd opened the Business and Property Courts for Wales in Cardiff.
The Commercial Court, the Technology and Construction Court and the Courts of the Chancery Division, all specialist jurisdictions of the High Court, will now be known collectively as the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales.
Lord Thomas stated that the courts will provide comprehensive and expert court-based dispute resolution. This will be the case whether the dispute is being dealt with in London or outside London and the courts will deal with any type of business case, whatever the value or complexity.
The aim is for businesses to be able to litigate in exactly the same way, whether in London or one of the regional centres.
The advantages of the new Business and Property Courts are expected to include a flexible deployment of judges with suitable expertise and experience to sit across the courts.
At the moment, many cases are dealt with in the Rolls Building in London, which previously housed the specialist courts.
It should become easier for these cases to be dealt with in the regional centres, which will also help to reduce waiting times.
The introduction of the new name, which is an umbrella term and will not replace the individual names, will also be easier for businesses to understand nationally and internationally.
Some of the current names are obscure and out of date and with Brexit it will be even more important that the courts are understood by the business community, so that these specialist courts continue to offer the best court-based dispute resolution in the world.
Initially there will be five regional centres in Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol and Cardiff. However it is hoped that this will be expanded over time to include Newcastle and Liverpool.