A specialist list hosted at the Rolls Building to deal with financial market cases has taken a further step towards full operation with the publication of practice directions at a formal unveiling last night.
Speaking before representatives from the legal and financial professions, lord chancellor Michael Gove praised the financial list, which launched on 1 October, as one of the most ‘exciting innovations in the field of British justice’.
The list was a key part in ensuring the modernisation of the legal system, he said.
Bank of England deputy governor Sir Jon Cunliffe said the central bank ‘wholeheartedly supports’ the initiative for financial stability and competitive reasons.
‘This isn’t just something that matters for the UK and UK financial stability. It is something that matters [for] international financial stability as well,’ he said.
Lord chief justice Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd said that the list would be kept under review, but added: ‘I do hope this initial experiment will work and we will try and improve it wherever possible.’
The financial list will initially run as a two-year pilot until the end of September 2017. Cases will be heard by 12 judges from the Commercial Court and Chancery Division.
Alasdair Douglas, chair of the City of London Law Society, said: ‘The facility to bring market test cases, where authoritative legal guidance is needed, will be an important feature of the financial list initiative.
‘Litigants expect judges to be familiar with the subject matter of a case, and the financial list will offer the assurance that these significant cases will be heard by a high-calibre judge who, for example, has an understanding of the global financial markets.
‘The financial list will improve, and be seen to improve, the service provided by the English courts to international litigants.’
The first case, between foreign parties and concerning derivatives transactions, was transferred onto the financial list last week and is in the course of being tried by Mr Justice Blair.