Foreign litigants are increasingly dominating the Commercial Court of England and Wales, research on cases over the past five years has found.
The study Who uses the Commercial Court?, by the Portland communications firm, reviewed all 705 judgments from the court between March 2008 and March 2013. It found that, while UK litigants are still the largest category of users, the number of cases involving UK litigants fell from 179 to 159 between 2009 and 2012, while those involving foreign litigants rose from 253 to 364.
Excluding the UK, the top countries of origin of litigators were the US (146), Kazakhstan (86), Switzerland (86), British Virgin Islands (83), Russia (75), Germany (70), Italy (48), Greece (45) and Luxembourg (42).
Idil Oyman, head of Portland’s disputes practice, said the research was conducted to inform the debate about the influx of foreign cases to the British courts sparked by the Berezovsky v Abramovich trial.
‘While Russian and Kazakh parties together constitute 6% of foreign litigants, their share has decreased since 2011, so there is a question as to whether we’ll see a sustained drop from the region after the definitive Berezovsky judgment,’ she said.
The research was carried out by Portland in conjunction with the Westminster University School of Law.