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Commercial Court (England and Wales)

The Commercial Court is a sub-division of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice, the major civil court in England and Wales. It is based in the Rolls Building, the world's largest dedicated business dispute resolution centre.[1]

The Commercial Court is a specialist subsection of the Queen’s Bench Division alongside courts including the Admiralty Court and Technology and Construction Court, as defined by the Civil Procedure Rules. It deals with complex cases arising out of business disputes, both national and international. There is a particular emphasis on international trade, banking, insurance, and commodities. It is also the principal supervisory court for London arbitration disputes.[2]



The Commercial Court was set up in 1895 following demands from the City of London and the business community for a tribunal or court manned by judges with knowledge and experience of commercial disputes which could determine such disputes expeditiously and economically, thereby avoiding tediously long and expensive trials with verdicts given by judges or juries unfamiliar with business practices.

The commercial list was originally heard by two judges of the Queen's Bench Division with the appropriate knowledge and experience. As the work of the Court has expanded, eight judges now sit in the Court at any one time.[3]


The current work of the Commercial Court encompasses all aspects of commercial disputes, in the fields of banking and finance,disputes over contracts and business documents, import, export and transport, agency and management agreements, shipping, insurance and reinsurance, and commodities. The court is also the principal supervisory court for London arbitration, dealing with the granting of freezing and other relief in aid of arbitration, challenges to arbitration awards, and enforcement of awards. The Mercantile Court also can hear most of these cases.[4]

It is also a major centre for international disputes. Over 70% of the court's workload involves international parties where the only connection with the jurisdiction is the choice of English and Welsh law in a contract.[5]


Eight specialist judges sit in the Court at any one time. They are drawn from a list of those authorised due to their specialist knowledge and expertise.[6] The current Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court is Sir William Blair.[7]

Financial ListEdit

From October 2015, the Commercial Court and the Chancery Division have maintained the Financial List for cases which would benefit from being heard by judges with suitable expertise and experience in the financial markets or which raise issues of general importance to the financial markets. The procedure was introduced to enable fast, efficient and high quality dispute resolution of claims related to the financial markets.[8]


  1. ^ Admiralty and Commercial Court, Court Tribunal Finder
  2. ^ [1] History of the Commercial Court.
  3. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "City UK Legal Services Report 2016" (PDF).
  6. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  7. ^ "New Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court". Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  8. ^ Authorised Guide to the Financial List, 1 October 2015

External linksEdit