Practice Note: Changes to the Procedure for Obtaining Trial Listing Appointments with the QB Judges Listing Office

1.    This note is intended to provide guidance for practitioners about the new arrangements coming into effect from 19 June 2017 for issuing Listing appointments for trial before judges of the High Court in London.

2.    The Queen’s Bench Judges Listing Office (QBJL) are to take over responsibility for setting trial listing appointments when the listing directions are made, usually by the assigned QB Master.  Instead of the claimant applying for a listing appointment, the Queen’s Bench Masters Listing Section (QBML) will send a copy of the sealed order giving the listing directions direct to QBJL when it sends the sealed order to the parties.  QBJL will then send a listing appointment to the parties.

3.    This change in procedure has resulted in an amendment to the model directions in Forms PF52 and PF52A (the latter for claims in the Mesothelioma List) and PF53, (giving directions for separate trial of an issue).

Paragraph 22 of PF52 and Paragraph 4 (b) (ii) of PF53 now read as follows:

“A copy of this sealed order will be sent to the Queen’s Bench Judges Listing Office who will notify all parties of a listing appointment for a trial date or period within the trial window, which will usually be six weeks from the date the order is sealed.  If parties have any queries in relation to the listing appointment they should contact Queen’s Bench Judges Listing on qbjudgeslistingoffice@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

Paragraph 12(1) (b) of PF52A as follows:

“A copy of this sealed order will be sent to the Queen’s Bench Judges Listing Office who will notify all parties of a listing appointment for a trial date or period within the trial window, which will usually be three weeks from the date the order is sealed.  If parties have any queries in relation to the listing appointment they should contact Queen’s Bench Judges Listing on qbjudgeslistingoffice@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

(The only difference being the shorter timescale for providing a listing appointment for mesothelioma trials (where liability is in issue) which need to be listed urgently.)

4.    It is intended that this change in procedure will reduce the in-built delay in requiring the claimant/parties to obtain a listing appointment and the problems that occur when the claimant/parties fail to obtain a listing appointment by the date specified. It will also provide more control over listing appointments by QBJL and allow greater flexibility in listing trial dates.

5.    Parties are requested to use the amended wording in PF52 and PF52A when providing draft directions orders with Directions questionnaires and for Costs and Case Management Conferences.

6.    Trial Listing arrangements before QB Masters will continue to be arranged by the QBML qbmasterslisting@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk.

The Honourable Mr Justice Foskett and the Senior Master

13 June 2017