A description of the process in the Commercial Court 

The Commercial Court Process

Proceedings are issued in the Central Office
The parties - or one of the parties - applies for entry into the Commercial Court
Entry is either granted or refused. If it is granted, the Court will usually treat the entry application as the initial directions hearing. Directions are usually made as agreed between the parties but can also be contested and ruled upon by the Court
Another directions hearing will take place when the pleadings are closed or almost closed. At this point the Judge will normally allocate a hearing date and make strict directions which will bring the parties up to the hearing date. In particularly urgent cases, the hearing date may be fixed at the initial directions hearing.
The matter will be listed for mention at the callover the week before its hearing date. The Court will ensure the matter is ready to go on and that all directions have been complied with
Trial Date. The case will have an assigned judge to hear it on the trial date.

 

The Court sets out the steps to be taken in respect of pleadings, discovery and exchange of witness statements and the date by which these steps should be completed.  

As the efficient trial of commercial cases is the central purpose of the Commercial Court, the directions of the court must be strictly observed.  Each party must name an individual solicitor to give an undertaking to the court that directions will be complied with. Any change to directions cannot be agreed between the parties themselves but can only be varied by an application to the court. 

The judge of the Commercial Court will normally encourage, and take reasonable steps to facilitate alternative dispute resolution (ADR), in particular, mediation.  This is consistent with the fundamental importance of ADR in the Irish Legal System.

The Commercial Court has a number of judges specifically allocated to its list and trials are heard by this panel of judges, all of whom have extensive commercial and trial expertise.

Find out more by reading the Rules of the Commercial Court – which are contained in Order 63A of the Rules of the Superior Courts– and Practice Direction HC85 which set out the procedures to be followed when bringing proceedings before the Court.

How much does the Commercial Court charge?

Court fees are fixed by the Minister for Justice and Equality with the agreement of the Minister for Finance.  They are published in documents known as court fees orders. Currently the party seeking entry to the Commercial Court must pay a Court Fee of €5,000.

Fees relating to the Commercial Court are published in the Superior Courts Fees Order.

Where can I find information about the Commercial Court calendar?

Cases for hearing in the Commercial Court are included in the list published as part of the High Court Legal Diary.

Where can I find decisions of the Commercial Court?

Reserved (written) judgments of the Commercial Court are published on the Judgments page.  They may be downloaded free of charge.