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What Happens After Serving a Commercial Dispute Form at the Circuit Commercial Court?

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When you run a business, you may encounter the everyday problems of experiencing a commercial dispute. If so, you should resolve this as smoothly as possible to ensure it does not interfere with your business activities more than necessary. You may do so through an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method. This is encouraged before embarking on commercial litigation. 

However, the only way forward may sometimes be with a commercial dispute at the Circuit Commercial Court, such as the London Circuit Commercial Court. If so, you need to understand the process of the commercial court. This article will, therefore, explain what happens after you serve the form for your commercial dispute at the circuit commercial courts with a circuit commercial judge.

What Is the Circuit Commercial Court For?

The Circuit Commercial Court is where you can resolve commercial or business disputes. The court can also be used for professional disputes. A commercial or business dispute is where, during your business activities, you disagree about business with another party. There are various cases you can take to the Circuit Commercial Court. For example, when you buy and sell goods and where you dispute arbitration claims and awards. 

There is not just one Circuit Commercial Court in the UK, such as the one in London, but several across major cities. For example: 

  • Bristol;
  • Leeds; and 
  • Manchester. 

What Happens After I Serve the Form for My Commercial Dispute at the Circuit Commercial Court?

When you take a commercial case to the Circuit Commercial Court, you will first:

  • fill in the relevant form;
  • pay the correct court fee;
  • send the form to the court;
  • serve the form on the defence; and
  • confirm with the court that you have done the latter.

Once this happens, the defendant needs to acknowledge the claim. Once they have the form and the case’s particulars, they must do so within 28 days. The defendant defended the claim as the commercial dispute had come this far to court and could not be resolved sooner. If so, you can respond to this in writing, addressing their points. Below, we describe what happens after this. 

Case Management Conference

When the defendant defends the claim against them in your commercial claim, and you have responded in writing, you will need a case management conference. This is a meeting which you need to request the court to arrange.

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At this meeting, the Circuit Commercial Court judge will meet with you and the defendant to discuss:

  • what date will the trial will take place on;
  • the management of the case;
  • documents to produce; and 
  • arrangements for evidence from experts and witnesses, where the judge may require you both to use the same of the former to cut down on costs.

Circuit Commercial Court Trial

Before the Circuit Commercial Court trial can start, it may be necessary to have another meeting as a first case management conference to ensure both parties are ready for the trial. Once they are, the trial will commence with a Circuit Commercial Court Judge. During the trial, you and the other party will be able to:

  • give your opening statements;
  • ask expert witnesses to give evidence
  • question the other party; and 
  • give your closing statements.

You should note that when you pursue commercial litigation, such as through the Circuit Commercial Court, the courtroom is accessible to the public. Therefore, commercial litigation is not confidential. 

Getting a Decision on Your Commercial Dispute

Unfortunately, you will not usually get a decision from the circuitry commercial judge until after the day of the hearing, so the circuit commercial court trial. Instead, you will receive a draft judgment from the court.

This will allow you to check for textual errors such as typos. The circuit court judge will then issue a decision on your commercial case.

Key Takeaways

When you enter a commercial dispute with another business or customer, you may take court litigation, such as with the Circuit Commercial Court. This could be, for example, a dispute about selling goods to a customer. There are plenty of commercial circuit courts to choose from, such as one in London and one in Bristol. Once you serve the court form on the defendant, they will need to respond. You need to know the process after this. 

This starts with a chance for you to respond to any points they make in writing in defence of the claim. Then, a case management hearing allows the judge to organise the trial with you and the third party. You may need another meeting when both parties are ready for trial. When the commercial case goes to trial, the judge will listen to the parties and the evidence they produce. A decision will be given later in writing after the circuit court judge sends you a draft to check for textual errors.

If you need help understanding what happens after you serve the form for a commercial dispute with the Circuit Commercial Court in the UK, LegalVision’s experienced disputes and litigation solicitors can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. So call us today on 0808 196 8584 or visit our membership page.

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Clare Farmer

Clare Farmer

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