Woolf sees court cases fall by third

There has been a dramatic drop in the number of cases coming to the Commercial Court in the first six months following the Woolf reforms, according to Mr Justice Rix, the judge in charge.

Since the new rules were introduced in April there has been a 31 per cent fall in the applications to modify proceedings in existing cases, and a 26 per cent drop in applications for new cases.

Justice Rix revealed the figures in a speech given at the British Insurance Law Association lecture.

But he added that waiting periods at the court are up as judges are busier and case management conferences are taking time.

And figures released by the Centre for Dispute Resolution show that the number of mediations has doubled in the last year.

Mediations are also getting shorter, with only a few cases lasting more than a day.