TOLATA 1996—when to issue in the County Court and when to issue in the High Court
TOLATA 1996—when to issue in the County Court and when to issue in the High Court

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • TOLATA 1996—when to issue in the County Court and when to issue in the High Court
  • County Court or High Court?
  • Transfer between the courts
  • Procedure—Part 7 and Part 8

This Practice Note explains the distinction between the County Court and the High Court in relation to claims brought under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA 1996) and also contains a brief outline of the two procedures.

County Court or High Court?

A TOLATA 1996 claim may be commenced in either the County Court or the High Court. They have concurrent jurisdiction.

The decision of where to issue is both technical and tactical, with the two primary considerations being:

  1. does the court have jurisdiction to hear the claim?

  2. is the court appropriate to the dispute?

County Court

The County Court has jurisdiction to hear any TOLATA 1996 claim, regardless of the amount involved in the proceedings and the value of any fund or asset connected with the proceedings.

Whether the claim is made under Part 7 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR), SI 1998/3132 or under CPR Part 8, if issued in the County Court it can be issued in any County Court hearing centre (CPR PD 7A, para 2.4A, CPR PD 8A, para 4.1(2) and CPR PD 2C, para 3.1) and there is no indication that a claim under TOLATA 1996 needs to be brought in a specific County Court hearing centre. That said, if the court considers that a claim has been issued in the