Senior judge wants boost in northern hearings

A SENIOR judge is embarking on a public speaking campaign to persuade northern lawyers to get High Court Chancery cases heard in the North rather than in London.

The Hon Mr Justice Parker, who supervises the conduct of Chancery division business in the north of England, is currently hearing cases at Leeds Crown Court.

Judge Parker, the Vice-Chancellor of the County Palatine of Lancaster, will be spending nearly four months this year hearing Chancery cases in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle.

During his circuit he will be taking on speaking engagements in an effort to persuade solicitors of the benefit of processing and hearing appropriate chancery cases locally.

Judge Parker says facilities in the North have improved substantially in recent years and he is keen to get the message across to lawyers.

He is also prepared to spend more of his time visiting northern courts, where lists tend to be shorter, rather than hearing cases at the High Court, if the demand justifies it.

“One of my first concerns is to persuade clients and lawyers of the savings in time and cost which can result ,” he says.

“There are too many Chancery cases with local connections – cases which could and should be processed and heard locally – still finding their way to London.”

He looks forward to the day when more cases travel North.