From 25 February 2019, electronic filing via CE-File will be extended to the Business and Property Courts out of London (B&PCs). Those are the B&PCs in:
Parties will be able to use CE-File to issue and/or file documents on the Electronic Court File from that date. Parties should also be aware that over the course of January, court staff have been using electronic filing through CE-File in relation to new cases issued in the B&PCs out of London and they may be able to continue filing electronically onto the Electronic Court File for those cases.
From 30 April 2019, professional users will be required to issue all new proceedings by electronic filing through CE-File. In addition, they will also be required to electronically file any new documents or submissions through CE-Filing in relation to cases issued on CE-File by the claimant on or after 25 February 2019.
Access to electronic filing in these major courts is something that practitioners and litigants have been requesting since the launch of the B&PCs in July 2017 and the extension of the system is an important further step in their establishment. No specialist civil case is too big to be heard in any B&PCs centre and making that a reality will be greatly facilitated with the availability of CE File in centres out of London.
Many practitioners are already familiar with CE-File, having used it to issue cases in London. They will understand its advantages and efficiencies and the control it allows them to exercise over the various stages of claims. For those who have not used CE-File before, further guidance can be found on the gov.uk website, including on how to register as a user, the payment of fees, security and data protection, as well as the five simple steps required to use the system, and where to go for further help.
Information about sessions providing professional users with an introduction to the system will be available shortly. If you have any questions on these upcoming sessions please contact your relevant Business and Property Courts centre, or email email@example.com.
A poster advertising the changes, which you can display in your offices, can be downloaded here.