Issue more cases here, says first resident Chancery judge in Liverpool

Cadwallader: Hope that Liverpool courts will develop at a much faster rate

The first full-time Business and Property Court judge for Chancery and circuit commercial cases in Liverpool has expressed hope that more cases will be issued in the city.

Neil Cadwallader, who previously practised at Exchange Chambers, was appointed last October.

He sits predominantly in Chancery cases, but also in other parts of the courts when required, including the Administrative Court and the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

His Honour Judge Cadwallader’s appointment means Liverpool is no longer dependent on other cities for the provision of specialist circuit judges and allows practitioners to obtain urgent relief locally.

“It has been said many times that no case too large for the regions – and it is true,” said HHJ Cadwallader.

“As well as hearing cases myself, my role includes liaising with the Chancery Division and the Commercial Court in London to ensure that cases requiring the attention of a full High Court judge can get it – and get it in Liverpool.

“As part of ensuring that happens, I expect to be sitting in London about six weeks every year once pandemic restrictions make that feasible.”

The judge said that, since his appointment, there has been an increase in the number of Chancery and circuit commercial cases issued in Liverpool.

“Looking to the future, my hope is that the Business and Property Courts in Liverpool continue to develop at a much faster rate, with a wider variety and larger number of heavyweight cases being heard.”

On remote hearings, HHJ Cadwallader said: “While remote hearings are certainly here to stay, as pandemic restrictions ease, I would expect the default position to revert to one in which hearings are held in person unless there is good reason otherwise. I certainly look forward to that time.

“However, the savings in time and costs in holding uncontentious or merely procedural hearings remotely strongly support the idea that such hearings are likely to continue to be held remotely unless there is good reason not to.

“Although remote hearings offer substantial savings in terms of costs and travel time, perhaps the most important thing which is lost, although the most intangible, is the felt sense of being really in the presence of the judge and of the other participants.”

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