Our work: Chancery division

The overall range of cases heard is very wide. A major part of the caseload today involves business disputes. Whilst in many cases there is a choice as to the Division of the High Court in which a claim is commenced, there are certain types of case which must be commenced in the Chancery Division. A list of the types of claim which must begin in the Chancery Division can be found in Chapter 18 of the Chancery Guide.

Categories of claim dealt with in the Chancery Division, either because they are specialist Chancery categories or because they are commonly brought in this Division include claims relating to:

  • land
  • proceedings under the Landlord and Tenant Acts 1927 (Part I), 1964 (Part II) and 1987 and the Leasehold Reform Act 1967
  • mortgages
  • trusts
  • contentious probate (contesting the validity of a will)
  • administration of the estates of deceased persons
  • companies
  • bankruptcy and corporate insolvency
  • claims for dissolution of partnerships or the taking of partnership accounts
  • rectification, setting aside or cancellation of deeds or other instruments
  • professional negligence or breach of contract
  • some proceedings under the Solicitors Act 1974
  • charities
  • the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975 (concurrent jurisdiction with the Family Division)
  • Court of Protection (the Chancery Judges are all nominated judges of the Court of Protection).
  • breach of a restrictive covenant (an agreement in a deed which limits an owner's use or enjoyment of his/her property);
  • breach of trust or fiduciary duty (the duty owed by a person who is in a position of trust e.g. solicitor or trustee)
  • commercial disputes including international commercial disputes
  • claims relating to membership of or exclusion from or dissolution of a club or other incorporated association
  • revenue matters
  • intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, copyright and registered designs, and passing off . Proceedings in the Patents Court are issued in Chancery Registry and dealt with by Chancery Judges and Masters nominated to do so.  The Patents Court has its own Guide
  • cartels and abuse of dominant position under the EC Treaty and the equivalent provisions of the UK Competition Act (other than claims in the Commercial Court).

A detailed guide to practice in the Chancery Division, the Chancery Guide, supplements the detailed rules found in the Civil Procedure Rules and is an essential companion to any form of litigation in the Chancery Division. Copies may also be obtained from the Fees Office, Royal Courts of Justice on payment of £4.75.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service


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