Commercial Courts Report 2024

Commercial Courts Report 2024

Portland’s annual Commercial Courts Report analyses judgments from the London Commercial Courts to identify notable trends – including the number of cases, litigants, nationality of parties involved in litigation and perceptions of the London courts internationally.

Complemented by expert opinion, we examine the appeal of London’s Commercial Courts to international litigants; Russia’s dramatically decreased presence; emerging jurisdictions; other international commercial courts; and public perceptions of climate-change litigation and the role of artificial intelligence in the legal profession.

The twelfth annual Commercial Courts Report is available to download here.

This year’s report reviewed the 262 judgments handed down by the London Commercial Courts between April 2023 and March 2024. Our analysis found:

1. Another record-breaking year for international litigants appearing in the London Commercial Courts.

Sixty-eight per cent were not from the UK. This is the highest proportion and number of international litigants ever recorded.

The diversity of litigants’ nationalities also had a record year, with 84 countries appearing in the Courts.

2. The number of Russian litigants using the London Commercial Courts has more than halved since last year.

Since 2018, Portland’s report has found a sustained, strong presence of Russian litigants in the Commercial Court. This year this number has fallen.

Portland’s exclusive polling reveals that less than 1 in 5 of the UK public think that it is positive that English courts are being used by Russian litigants, with two fifths thinking it is negative.

3. Public opinion is overwhelmingly unfavourable on the use of AI in the legal profession.

Portland’s exclusive polling reveals a significant majority of respondents would view lawyers and judges less favourably if they relied heavily on AI for core legal tasks. Only a small percentage expressed a more favourable view of lawyers using AI for research or judges using AI for summaries. This sentiment was even stronger for AI-generated arguments and rulings.

4. Public support for ESG litigation

Portland’s exclusive polling reveals that a majority of the UK public (56%) believe that the recent increase in lawsuits over contributions to climate change is a positive development. An overwhelming majority of the public (75%) also support the increase in lawsuits related to greenwashing. Sixty per cent of the public view companies who are subject to these claims unfavourably. The public are also strongly in favour (62%) of shareholders being able to sue companies over their ESG policies. With increasing pressure from UK regulators on companies to disclose their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices, the risk of legal action taken by shareholders could also be on the rise.

For the first time, Portland collected data on and analysed the media coverage of all 262 Commercial Court judgments recorded in this year’s report. The findings demonstrate the media’s interest in litigation involving high-profile companies, and differences in how international and national news outlets report on legal disputes.

Portland’s exclusive polling reveals that the UK public support lawsuits that hold governments and businesses to account over their ESG practices.

Despite decreasing by 21 percentage points from last year, the majority of respondents still believe the recent rise in lawsuits over contributions to climate change is a positive development. A larger majority also view positively the recent increase in lawsuits related to greenwashing.

The Commercial Courts Report is compiled by Portland’s Litigation and Disputes practice.

The practice provides specialist advice and strategic communications support to top-tier law firms around the world. We work to reinforce the legal strategy of lawyers undertaking complex or high-profile litigation. We can help ensure that every aspect of your client’s concerns are managed, and every potential advantage explored.

The team is ranked in Band One in the Chambers and Partners Litigation Support Guide.

Please contact us for additional Commercial Courts data and analysis, or to learn more about how we can help.


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