The Commercial Court by Stephen Dowling

Date01 January 2007
Thomson Round Hall, 2007 (i225)
ISBN 978–1–85800–452–5
Alison Fanagan*
Stephen Dowling BL is a Barrister with a primary law degree from Trinity
College and a Masters in Commercial Law from Cambridge University. He
is to be applauded both for his initiative, and his success, in completing this,
the f‌irst book on the workings of the Commercial Court.
The Commercial Division of the High Court became operative on
1 January 2004. It has already delivered on its objectives and has enabled
commercial litigators achieve commercial outcomes, where this had previously
become almost unachievable. The previous regime facilitated delay and
amounted to “trial by ambush”. This was particularly unsuited for getting
complex commercial disputes through the Courts. Such disputes inevitably
involve complex issues where the need is greatest to ensure that the
pleadings are focussed, discovery is kept within tight confines, witness
statements are exchanged beforehand, and expert witnesses are forced to
narrow down the issues between them as much as possible prior to hearing.
Under the old regime, it was not unusual to turn up with teams of witnesses
and experts, including those who could have travelled from abroad, only to
f‌ind that there was no Judge available. The advent of the Commercial Court
has ensured that these and other problems are things of the past. Undoubtedly,
the enthusiasm and hard work of Mr Justice Peter Kelly, and others, in
getting the Commercial List up and running cannot be underestimated.
Stephen Dowling’s work is timely, accurate, practical and focussed.
One of the great benef‌its of being asked to review a book is that it makes
you read it in its entirety and not just dip in and out of it. Having read
Stephen Dowling’s book I can say that it is a book that is equally useful for
seasoned practitioners in the Commercial Court, and those who may have
little experience of it. It is as useful to dip in and out of for reference
purposes, as it is to read it chapter by chapter. Mr Dowling does not merely
cover the essentials of the Commercial Court Rules, but sets out in detail the
relevant Court decisions and also puts those decisions in context relative to
previous established law on the range of topics covered. He puts the
expeditious nature of the Commercial Division of the High Court in
context, relative to decisions on having cases struck out for delay and want
* Solicitor and Partner, A&L Goodbody.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT