Mr Justice Rix, the man in charge of the Commercial Court has said that after six months the Woolf reforms are working.

He said there had been a 26% reduction in the number of cases heard while applications in current cases were down 31%.

The reasons for the decrease in new cases were an increase in the jurisdiction of the County Court; a reduction in Legal Aid; and more thought being given to cases before going to court under the newly introduced pre-action protocols.

Speaking at a recent British Law Association lecture at Lloyd's, he also said new cases would increase in number as lawyers adjusted to the new rules.