Commercial Hub Practice Direction - DAC Beachcroft

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Commercial Hub Practice Direction

Published 29 September 2022

At the start of this year a new Practice Direction (PD) was issued in the Queen’s Bench Division Commercial Hub. This came into effect on 1st February 2022 and applies to all commercial actions. Failure to comply fully with the Practice Direction can lead to sanctions being imposed such as costs orders, dismissal, striking out or disallowing evidence.

This version of the PD still encourages effective case management within the hub but with a particular focus on using technology to further improve the efficiency with which cases are managed. There is also a view to the Commercial Division being at the forefront of change and modernisation for all Courts in the Jurisdiction and the hope that this will result in better, cheaper and faster Judgements for the citizens of Northern Ireland.

Mr Justice Horner who is the Judge in charge of the Commercial Hub considers that the way forward is paper light and the future is paperless and with that in mind included an electronic discovery direction in the PD. Documents to include review forms, skeleton arguments and eventually trial bundles are to be uploaded to the Court via the ‘box’ system.  

There are also now three case management hearings; Early Directions Hearing, Case Management Conference and a Pre-Trial Review. If these can be dealt with administratively they will be in order to streamline the process and limit Court time. If they do however, need to go ahead this can be done remotely which will free up practitioners time as it will negate the need to attend Court in person. The view is that administrative tasks are entirely different to trial where one would of course prefer to hear evidence in person.


Catriona McCorry

Catriona McCorry


+44 (0)289 041 2834

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