On 1 October 2015, a new initiative of the Chancery Division and the Queen’s Bench Division commenced. It is built on the expertise of the judges of the Commercial Court and the Chancery Division. The Financial List comprises Judges from both jurisdictions who have been nominated to sit as “Financial List judges”.
The Financial List will provide a pilot “Financial Markets Test Case Scheme” to facilitate the resolution of market issues to which immediately relevant English law guidance is needed.
The introduction of the Financial List was announced by the Lord Chief Justice in his Mansion House speech on 8 July 2015.
The Lord Chief Justice explained that this will be a specialist list for financial claims of £50 million or more, or cases that raise issues concerning the domestic and international financial markets: the equity, derivatives, FX and commodities markets. It will include provision for an innovative test case procedure, the aim of which will be to facilitate the resolution of market issues on which there is no previous authoritative English precedent.
In the Mansion House speech the Lord Chief Justice said,
“First, it will promote access to the courts and the expertise of trial judges, for market actors in an area that is of significant importance to the development of both the domestic economy, and to open markets internationally.
Secondly, and particularly through the test case procedure, the Financial List will help to avoid costly and time consuming litigation, through providing a mechanism for authoritative guidance before disputes have arisen. It thus helps to provide the necessary environment, identified by Adam Smith, for economic activity to thrive.
Thirdly – and flowing from the first and second points – I hope that this initiative will promote the rule of law both nationally and internationally. At the national level it does so for the reasons I have already outlined. At the international level it does so through acting as a beacon. The courts and the judiciary of this jurisdiction are widely respected throughout the world, for their expertise, knowledge of the markets, their incorruptibility and their independence.”
About Steven Loble
Steven is an international commercial litigator, with substantial experience in financial and securities litigation with Sherrards Solicitors in London. View Steven’s profile.