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In March 2017 the Judicial Executive Board revealed plans for the specialist jurisdictions of the High Court of England & Wales to be known collectively as The Business and Property Courts of England & Wales (B&PCS). The B&PCS were set to launch in June 2017, however, this has been set back to July 2017 due to the general election.
The aim of the B&PCS is to provide the specialist civil courts with a user-friendly umbrella term yet preserve the valuable brands of the individual specialist courts and to allow for a flexible cross-deployment of Judges with suitable expertise to sit in business and property cases across the courts.
The B&PCS will comprise of the Commercial Court, (including the Admiralty Court), the Technology and Construction Court, and the courts of the Chancery Division dealing with financial services, intellectual property, competition, and insolvency. These specialist civil courts operate together at the Rolls Building in London. There will also be B&PCS in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff with the intention of expansion to Newcastle and Liverpool in the future.
It is anticipated that the introduction of the B&PCS will enhance the UK's reputation for international business dispute resolution, and enable a greater connection between London and the regions to ensure that international businesses and domestic enterprises are equally supported in the resolution of their disputes.
The launch dates of the B&PCS began with London on 4 July 2017 and launched more locally on 10 July 2017 in Leeds and 11 July 2017 in Manchester. Both launches at Leeds and Manchester included a presentation by the Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Geoffrey Vos.