The lord chief justice has confirmed that a new specialist list hosted by the Rolls Building to deal with complex financial markets will be introduced, as the Gazette revealed earlier this year.
The financial list will provide a specialist dispute resolution forum for claims of £50m or more, or cases that raise issues concerning domestic and international financial markets.
Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd told the Dinner for Her Majesty’s Judges last night, attended by lord chancellor Michael Gove, that the list ‘will help to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation’ and provide ‘prospective guidance, clarifying the law for market actors, investors, governments and so on’.
The list, he said, would enable investors and others ‘to order their affairs on the basis of a sure knowledge of their rights and obligations in the market place’.
Cases will be allocated to a docketed judge – selected from a pool of financial list judges. The judge would preside over case management decisions from the commencement of proceedings to the final trial and through to enforcement if necessary.
An ‘innovative’ test case procedure will ‘facilitate the resolution of market issues on which there is no previous authoritative English precedent’.
Lord Thomas said the list would ‘set an international benchmark’.
‘The new list will not only encourage international litigants to continue to use our courts, the principles they embody and their jurisprudence, but in doing so they will help to raise standards.’