TCC guide hailed as ‘new dawn’ after Seymour row

The Technology and Construction Court (TCC) is today (3 October) launching a guide which will give judges and counsel a clear path to best practice in the court.

The guide has been written after extensive consultation with judges and court users, and follows months of severe criticism of the way the TCC operates.

Paul Darling QC, a tenant at Keating Chambers who was part of the group that carried out the consultation to produce the guide, said: “I’m delighted and surprised that we’ve managed to achieve something that’s universally accepted as a good thing. It’s a new dawn and it’s quite clear that it’s not a false dawn.” It has also emerged that Vivian Ramsey QC, head of Keating Chambers, will be appointed to the TCC’s new panel of High Court judges following his appointment to the bench last month.

In June, The Lawyer revealed that a review of the TCC had been launched by the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor. The announcement came at the same time as Judge Seymour, who was roundly condemned by barristers, judges and even the Court of Appeal for his verdict and comments made in the Co-op v ICL case, was ousted from the court.

As part of the review, five High Court judges were appointed to hear cases in the TCC in addition to the existing panel of 41 senior circuit and circuit judges already assigned to the court. Mr Justice Jackson, the judge in charge of the TCC, is now spending all, rather than half, of his time there.

The guide sets out more streamlined procedures and more standardised case management and is designed to eliminate disputes as to how TCC cases should be run.

Jackson J said that the TCC would continue to develop, with judges possibly acting as mediators in disputes in the future.

The guide does not replace the Civil Procedure Rules, and will be revised in the future as the law develops.