News update: Reforms to the Official Referees' Court

United Kingdom
The Official Referees' Court (the section of the High Court which deals with most construction litigation), now more than 100 years old, is due to undergo a radical shake-up, primarily to cut pre-trial waiting times. Initial indications of the changes to be brought about are that:

  • the Official Referees' Court will be re-named the "Technology and Construction Court";

  • 'TCC' will replace 'ORB' as the prefix to the case number and the new name of the court will go above the Judge's name on court documents;

  • Mr Justice Dyson, as from 1 October this year, will act as the Court's first dedicated presiding Judge;

  • disputes will continue to be assigned to individual Judges at an early stage but, in the event that the Judge is not available at the time the case is set down for trial, it will be put into a central pool and heard by the first available Judge.

No official comments have been forthcoming from the court to date, but it is anticipated that once Judge Dyson has taken up his new role, announcements as to the changes to be brought about will be made.