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Welcome /  Blog /  2015-11-doc20 UK introduces Financial List as special court

2015-11-doc20 UK introduces Financial List as special court

UK introduces 'Financial List' as special court and a 'market test procedure' when - without a dispute - seeking guidance on a point of English law. As from 1 October 2015 in the UK the Financial List is in operation. It is a joint initiative of the Chancery Division and the Queen’s Bench Division and builds on the expertise of the judges of the Commercial Court and the Chancery Division. Judges from both jurisdictions have been nominated to sit as 'Financial List judges'. The financial markets play an important role nationally and internationally, and are continually developing. Many parties in the financial markets choose for English law to govern their relationships. In recognising that the UK serves as a global hub for financial law, a new court has been set up in London to deal with disputes between them. The Financial List primarily intends to meet the needs of the international financial community and to make sure that cases are dealt with by judges with particular relevant expertise and to provide users of the Financil List fast, efficient and high-quality dispute resolution of their claims or disputes. Disputes that are eligible for inclusion are those that principally relate to financial disputes of over £50m or equivalent, or which require particular market expertise, or '... raise issues of general market importance', the press release says. It also includes insolvency matters, such as schemes of arrangement. The procedure is intended to fit seamlessly with existing procedure. Parties issue proceedings in either the Commercial Court or the Chancery Division. Before judge allocation, the parties will have the opportunity to indicate any particular feature of expertise that may be advantageous. Mid October the first case was allocated to Blair J (in a case concerning derivaties between non-UK parties). What is really interesting and innovative is the 'market test case' procedure. This is a procedure to facilitate the resolution of '... market issues to which immediately relevant authoritative English Law guidance is needed', without the need for a present cause of action between the parties to the proceedings. The parties with interest should be '... actively in business in the relevant market', whilst in appropriate cases, a relevant trade body or association may be joined to ensure that the arguments of all interested parties are properly put before the court. The 'market test case' procedure wishes to ensure that markets are most efficient when their actors have mechanisms to resolve uncertainties quickly and definitively. It is a pilot for two years and it provides a mechanism for the court to grant declaratory relief on the grounds that it is in the public interest to do so. Futher info via