Would you be able to justify why you want your case to be held in London?
Well according to the Law Gazette in February, litigants from outside London will have to provide reasons as to why their particular case should be diverted to London under new practice directions.
The CPRC (Civil Procedure Rule Committee) amended the previous regulations and going forward an explanation is required for why a particular case is not suitable for hearing in a regional specialist court, and is therefore necessary to be held in London.
The practice direction is Practice direction 29, and parties must explain in their directions questionnaire why the case needs a London hearing as opposed to a specialist regional court.
In a report by Mr Justice Coulson in July 2014 he stated that specialist judges in the North were concerned by the number of cases which were being held in London. Mr Coulson did state that this was not a ‘critical issue’ and he did not want the committee to adopt the most extreme option of insisting that parties have their cases held in the courts closest to the centre of the claim. So instead the view that you should justify your reason for requiring a London based hearing was established.
One of the commonly held views, which Mr Justice Coulson stated at the Committee Meeting in December was that in two separate cases both parties had “told him since his report that they preferred London because more judges are available and cases are dealt with more quickly – he found this to be a commonly held view.”
I am not sure how common this is in practice but will try and find out some more information for you in the meantime has this had an impact on any of your cases? Have you had to justify a hearing locating?