Speaking at the Commercial Litigators’ Forum, hosted by Herbert Smith, Mr Justice Colman said that Paris’ Tribune de Commerce may become a more attractive option for parties with English law disputes. “Facilities at the Commercial Court are very bad, cramped and have insufficient room,” he said. “There’s a real need for something to be done. There is a concern that France might get some of the work.”
This is of particular concern to the UK Government, which it is estimated receives £800m in invisible earnings from users of the court. The Commercial Bar Association is on a marketing drive among European law firms and companies to attract work to the Commercial Court.
A survey carried out by the Litigators’ Forum revealed that 80 per cent of litigators in England believe that a lack of investment in the Commercial Court will lead to loss of business. Only half of those surveyed believe there should be a public-private partnership to fund the rejuvenation of the court.