Commercial Court

Introduction

The Commercial Court is part of the High Court that deals with business disagreements.

What disputes will the Commercial Court hear?

The Commercial Court deals with the following types of business disputes:

  • Commercial disputes between businesses where the value of the claim is at least €1 million
  • Proceedings under theArbitration Act 2010 with a value of at least €1 million
  • Disputes about intellectual property, for example, trademarks and trade secrets
  • Appeals and applications for judicial review of how a decision or determination was made
  • Proceedings about the function of the Registrar under the Cape Town Convention or the Aircraft Protocol as defined in theInternational Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town Convention) Act 2005
  • Other cases that a judge of the Commercial Court considers appropriate

A full list of the type of proceedings that can be heard in the Commercial Court are available in Order 63A of the Rules of the Superior Courts.

How the Commercial Court operates

Even if your dispute fits the criteria for the Commercial Court, the judge can decide not to hear it in this Court. If you want to have your dispute heard in the Commercial Court you apply to be added to the list of cases for the Commercial Court (the Commercial List). This costs €5,000. However, if your application is refused you will be refunded €4,940.

The Court uses a case management system that is designed to streamline the preparation for trial, remove unnecessary costs and stalling tactics, and ensure full pre-trial disclosure. The judge can adjourn proceedings for up to 28 days so those involved can try and resolve the dispute using alternative dispute resolution processes, such as mediation, conciliation or arbitration.

Disputes heard in the Commercial Court are typically dealt with in a number of months, rather than a number of years, which is common in the High Court.

Page edited: 20 September 2019