Key feature remains untested amid Financial List's success

The Financial List, launched in October 2015, is a specialised docket for cases meeting certain criteria within the financial services sector.

Each case must be worth more than £50 million and requires judges to have expert and specialist knowledge, or raise an important issue for the financial sector. So far, it seems to have been successful in allocating expert judges to complex cases.

Commercial disputes and financial services expert, Lucy Pert, shared her views on the Financial List with Paige Long of Law360, stating:

“There is a real benefit to having judges skilled in financial services, who really understand the way this world works. It means you don’t have to deal with a lot of education and you can probably get more quickly to the meat of the dispute.”

The article goes on to note that certain features of the Financial List remain unused, for example the “market test case”.  Lucy explored the difficulties, noting:

“One of the difficulties is, who is going to pay for it? People thought that funders or claimant firms like Hausfeld would use the procedure. But the difficulty is, if you have a test case with no financial outcome, then you can’t fund it. Commercial parties are unlikely to try and resolve an intellectual point - they tend to only resort to the courts when there is a live dispute that has to be resolved.”

Lucy mentioned one of the challenges of the Financial List is that many of the judges come from banking defence backgrounds:

“The issue is a difficult one, because judges need to have gained their knowledge from somewhere and the claimants bar remains relatively young in the U.K. So it's only now that the judiciary could begin to see judges with other kinds of expertise.”

She finished by highlighting the issue of diversity more generally in judiciary:

“My biggest concerns are really around the question of diversity and that’s part of a bigger issue of diversity on the bench more generally.”

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