30 January, 2009
The region's business and professional services community has welcomed the imminent launch of the Administrative Court in Manchester.
Ahead of the official opening of the Court on 21 April, Her Majesty’s Court Service (HMCS) held an official launch at the Civil Justice Centre last night.
The evening was introduced by Mr Justice Irwin, former Chairman of the Bar Council. Other speakers included Mr Justice Langstaff, Sir Anthony May and Frances Patterson QC.
Frances Patterson QC Head of Kings Chambers in Manchester & Leeds and a Deputy High Court Judge said:
“The establishment of the Administrative Court in Manchester is testament to the level of expertise and interest of public law work in the North of the country and demonstrates the common misconception that administrative law practice is concentrated in London.”
Peter Heginbotham, senior partner at Davis Blank Furniss and President of Manchester Chamber also welcomed the launch of the Administrative Court in Manchester:
"There are two good reasons for the jurisdiction being passed out of London to Manchester. The first is that in many cases involving public law the claimants and the defendants are all based in the region so that there is a significant loss at the moment in travel cost and travel time for London hearings. The second is that there is good expertise in the North West to handle this kind of work. So, overall, it makes sense for everyone to have fair access to justice in the region, just as they do in most other areas of law already, and that is why I was keen to join and support the campaign for this welcome reform."
Colin Sinclair, Chief Executive at MIDAS, Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency said: "This decision is great news for Manchester, which now has a large, well established legal sector – with over 400 practices and 4000 partners. Setting up Manchester as the North West regional hub for the Administrative Court will deliver work for our highly skilled solicitors and barristers, as well as providing our communities and local authorities with a vastly improved, more efficient service.
"With excellent transport links, a sustainable skills base which includes a wealth of graduates from Manchester’s universities, and the potential for significant cost savings over London, a growing number of legal firms are looking to Manchester. This move helps strengthen our offering and will assist with the development and prosperity of the regional economy at this challenging time. By creating a Ministry of Justice and public sector hub, it also represents the next important step towards Manchester becoming the Whitehall of the North."