The commercial court' (Thomson Round Hall, 2007) Steven Dowling

AuthorLaurence K. Shields
PositionChairman, LK Shields Solicitors
2008] Book Review: “The Commercial Court” 241
(Thomson Round Hall, 2007)
Steven Dowling
Mr. Justice Peter Kelly says in the forward “I cannot think
of any lawyer engaged in commercial litigation who would want
to admit to not having a copy of this book on their shelves”.
Having read Stephen Dowling’s book I would wholeheartedly
endorse Mr. Justice Peter Kelly’s view. It is not a book to be read
from cover to cover as I have done for this review but rather to be
a reference book to which those practising in commercial
litigation will revert again and again.
The author demonstrates enthusiasm, energy and erudition
in his treatment of the Commercial Court. He has undoubtedly
achieved the two objectives stated in his Preface. It is both a
comprehensive guide for practitioners on the Commercial Court
procedures and a broader analysis of the role that case
management plays within the framework of High Court case
The Introduction commences with Lord Justice Bridge’s
observation that “brevity and simplicity are the hand-maidens of
justice, length and complexity its enemies”. In the following
chapters the book emphasises how the Commercial Court has
succeeded to a large measure in achieving brevity and simplicity
in its operation and curtailing the enemies of time and minimising
the complexity. This is a remarkable achievement in a relatively
short period of time, and much credit is due to the judges of the
Commercial Court, and in particular Mr. Justice Peter Kelly,
whose early Central Office experience combined with his
experience as a leading commercial practitioner and judge are
clearly to the forefront. Many of us, including the writer,
Chairman, LK Shields Solicitors.

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