Litigation Trends

Author:Mr Neil Jamieson
Profession:Clyde & Co
 
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The Ministry of Justice has published its statistics for judicial and court activity in England and Wales for 2013. The figures published show that overall the volume of litigation dealt with by the Royal Courts of Justice in London increased by 23% compared to 2012. The 2014 figures are expected out later in 2015 when we will send another briefing note.

This increase resulted from a significant rise in the number of claims in the Companies Court and smaller rises in the Bankruptcy, Chancery, Technology and Construction and Commercial Courts (see Fig. 1). The Companies Court saw the highest increase in claims - a 59% increase since 2012.

Queen's Bench Division

In the Queen's Bench Division of the Royal Courts of Justice, London (not including figures for the Admiralty, Technology and Construction and Commercial Courts), the number of new claims decreased by 363 (a 6.5% decrease on 2012 numbers).

A fifth of the 5,186 claims issued were debt claims, a 6% decrease from 2012. The number of tort claims increased from 56 to 111 (by 100%). Personal injury claims decreased from 1,053 to 950 (by 9.7%), clinical negligence claims increased from 1,012 to 1,132 (by 12%) and the number of debt claims decreased significantly from 1,434 to 1,037 (by 28%).

There were increases in miscellaneous claims from 594 to 663 (12%), and breach of contract claims decreased in number from 984 to 891 (by 11%). Defamation claims decreased by 24%. The picture is shown at Figure.2.

Across the whole of England and Wales, in the Queen's Bench Division (including London) 13,053 claims were started, representing a decrease of 10% compared to 2012 and a decrease of 30% compared to 2009 when there was a peak in claim numbers.

Chancery Division

In the Chancery Division (not including the Companies and Bankruptcy Courts), the number of claims and originating proceedings issued in London was 5,546 - 11% higher than in 2012. Please see Fig.3 for a breakdown of the types of claim.

Across England and Wales in the Chancery Division (including London) 28,615 claims were started, representing a decrease of 1% compared to 2012 and a decrease of 37% compared to the peak in 2009.

Companies and Bankruptcy Courts

In the Companies Court (which deals primarily with liquidations) in London there was a significant rise (59%) in claims. The rise in claims in the rest of England & Wales was smaller - 1.4%. There was a 14% increase in claims in the Bankruptcy Court.

Professional negligence claims

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