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1. What is the High Court?
We are often asked by clients “What is the High Court?”
To give the High Court its full name, the High Court of England and Wales is actually the third highest court in England and Wales which deals which civil (non-criminal) matters.
Most civil cases in England and Wales are commenced in the county court. However, if the claim for money is in excess of £100,000 or the dispute involves complex issues of law, it is possible that your claim will be heard in the High Court.
2. Where is the High Court?
The High Court is based at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London.
However, the High Court does have District Registries around the country which can hear High Court matters, to ensure that the parties do not necessarily have to travel to London to have their cases heard.
In a similar way, High Court proceedings can be usually be issued at one of the High Court District Registries.
3. What cases are heard in the High Court?
The High Court generally deals with civil (i.e. non-criminal) cases and appeals of decisions made in lower courts, such as the County Court or in some circumstances, the Crown Court or Magistrates Court. The High Court is split into three separate Divisions, namely the Queen’s Bench Division, the Chancery Division and the Family Division. Each of these Divisions also contain other specialised courts, to deal with specific types of cases.
4. High Court Queen’s Bench Division
The Queen’s Bench Division or “QBD” is one of the three main divisions of the High Court. The Queen’s Bench Division deals with cases involving contracts (such as failure to pay for goods or services or breach of contract) and tort (such as negligence claims, trespass, defamation/libel). It will also deal with applications for judicial review and can deal with appeals on points of law in some criminal cases from the Magistrate’s court or Crown Court.
5. High Court Chancery Division
The Chancery Division one of the three main divisions of the High Court. The Chancery Division deals with cases involving business and banking matters, financial and cross-border insolvency cases, property matters, competition cases, trust claims, Inheritance Act claims, contentious probate, pensions, tax cases and interim applications, including injunctions.
6. High Court Family Division
The Family Division one of the three main divisions of the High Court. The Family Division deals with cases involving personal human matters, such as divorce, children, probate and medical treatment. It also hears cases in relation to children’s welfare, wardship cases and appeals from the Family Court.