If you are involved in a proceeding in a Supreme Court of Queensland of a commercial nature, it may be suitable to be placed on the commercial case list.
One of the benefits of placing a matter on the commercial case list is it will be case managed by a senior Judge of the Supreme Court.
The state courts of Queensland, somewhat unlike our southern states counterparts, allow the parties to effectively control the pace of the proceeding and what each party will or won’t do. Whilst the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 in Queensland prescribe certain timeframes for tasks to be undertaken, the Courts generally do not intervene to ensure compliance with such timeframes.
A benefit of the matter being placed on a commercial list is it will not linger and proceed for an uncertain time, and potentially a number of years, and it will be moved to resolution point under the guidance of a Judge.
This is different to the supervised case list which exists to assist parties where one of the parties in a litigation is self-represented and requires guidance from the Court.
One of the obvious downsides with having a matter placed on the commercial case list is costs. Costs are likely to escalate quickly given the frequent return dates in Court and the directions made by the Court about things being done relatively quickly and there being little tolerance for non-compliance with the directions which puts a party at risk of costs orders if they don’t comply. Those costs must be balanced against the costs involved in a long running litigation in the Supreme Court and the possible swift resolution of the dispute as a result of being on the commercial list.
In practice, the party wishing to place the matter on the commercial list, generally the plaintiff, but not always the case, must make an application to the Supreme Court to have the existing matter placed on the commercial list. The applicable Supreme Court practice direction gives the applicant clear guidance about what steps that need to be taken including the filing of a listing application and a statement in support addressing the criteria as to why the matter belongs on the commercial list.
If you have a running matter in the Supreme Court of Queensland and would like some advice about the commercial list or supervised case list, please do not hesitate to contact one of our litigation lawyers at McLaughlins Lawyers on 07 55 915 099.
Author: Matt Kollrepp
Director: Ian Kennedy
Date: 14 June 2019