UK: How To Get Started On CE-File: What You Need To Know About E-Filing In The Rolls Building

Last Updated: 29 March 2017
Article by Sue Ryan and Clark Sargent

CE-File, the courts' electronic working system, was initially launched in the Technology and Construction Court in June 2015, as part of a pilot scheme that has been ongoing and widened to all courts in the Rolls Building since that date.

Download podcast
Subscribe via iTunes

CE-File allows you to issue claims, make applications, file documents and communicate with the court electronically 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

CE-File will become compulsory in the Rolls Building's courts in London from Tuesday 25 April 2017. From that date, in those courts, you will no longer be able to issue or file claims or applications by email (outside of the CE File system), or in hard copy ie by hand or by post.

You need to be ready to use the electronic system or you could find yourself missing a key deadline or even potentially being subject to an adverse costs order for causing delay.

Here, we answer some of the most common questions about getting started on CE-File to help you avoid costly delays and mistakes.

1. Which courts are affected by CE-File becoming compulsory on 25 April 2017?

CE filing currently applies only to courts in the Rolls Building in London being the Chancery, Commercial, Technology and Construction, Mercantile and Admiralty courts.

As set out above, from 25 April 2017, in those courts, it will no longer be possible to issue or file claims or applications by email outside of the CE File system, or in hard copy by hand or by post.

2. How do you get started on CE-File?

Registration is easy and quick via and there's a link on the home page to a guide issued by the courts. If you use any of the courts in the Rolls Building, get registered on CE-File now rather than post 25 April 2017, when you may be under time pressure to meet particular deadlines. Once registered, you can file documents, issue claims etc.

3. Once registered, how do you get access to a particular case or proceedings?

Once registered on CE-File, you will initially only have access to documents in the public domain, i.e. subject to the rules already in place for non-party access under the Civil Procedure Rules CPR 5.4C .

There are currently three ways to get access to a particular case:

3.1 file a document on an existing claim or issue a new claim (eg under Part 7, Part 8, Part 20 etc);

3.2 file a letter on CE File via the Misc Filing facility stating that you are appointed to represent a party in an ongoing case and that you request access to the case on CE-File;

3.3 be given access to a case by a colleague in your organisation who already has access to that case.

Once you have access, you will be able to view all documents filed on those proceedings by either party (subject to any issues of confidentiality).

4. Are the rules on the confidentiality (or not) of court documents different on CE-File?

Practically speaking - when you are filing a document on CE-File, you will have the option to tick a box to indicate a request to the court that your filing remains confidential. This does not guarantee confidentiality - your request will be considered by the court i.e. the same position as now.

If your request is granted, the other party to the proceedings will not be able to view the actual document(s) filed, but may be able to see on CE-File that a confidential filing has been made.

5. Deadlines and service - do the same requirements apply?

In short, yes:

  • If your court order requires you for example to file by 4:00pm on a particular day, then you still have to file by 4:00pm on that day.
  • If the CPR provide for you to serve a document, then the obligation to serve still remains with you.

Taking a claim form, for example, once it is issued you will be able to download a copy of the sealed form for service. Be aware that if you then want to serve by email or fax (rather than post or by hand), you will still need the other side's explicit agreement to this method of service i.e. no change to the current rule Practice Direction PD 6A.

6. In terms of limitation is there any advantage to using CE-File?

In terms of issuing proceedings on the last day of the limitation period, there does appear to be an anomaly arising from the fact that CE-File is (in principle) available 24 hours a day every day of the year i.e. a benefit to those using CE-File that is not available to those who cannot use CE-File (courts outside the Rolls Building).

The key question is this: would the use of CE filing in effect give a claimant an extra chunk of "bonus time" to file by using CE-File after 4:00pm on a particular day?

We raised this point with court representatives last year and the answer from the court was yes - as long as the filing is made before midnight on that day, it will be deemed to have taken place in time.

This seems surprising and we suspect that the point will be tested in due course.

In any event, err on the side of caution and file well in advance of 4:00pm. If 4:00pm has been and gone, file via CE-File; you have nothing to lose and potentially, you might save the claim...

7. How to pay court fees on CE-File

Payment of fees on CE-File is straightforward - there are two methods:

  1. by credit card; or
  2. using an HM Courts & Tribunals Service Fee Account - this can be set up in advance and is likely to make sense for organisations that regularly pay court fees.

8. Which procedural rules apply to CE-File?

Currently, the procedure and rules set out in PD 51O apply to CE-File but it is likely that a new Practice Direction will be issued to take effect on 25 April 2017 (as PD 51O covers the Electronic Working Pilot Scheme).

When using CE-File, you will need to comply with the relevant CE filing Practice Direction which will cover procedural and practical requirements, such as the size (in megabytes) of documents that can be filed on the system.

Additionally, you will need to consult the current guide issued by the particular court you are issuing/filing in eg the Technology and Construction Court Guide, the Chancery Court Guide etc.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
3 Oct 2017, Seminar, London, UK

Join us over breakfast for our third retail-focused seminar.

10 Oct 2017, Other, London, UK

Join us for our Real Estate Sector Next Generation networking drinks evening.

12 Oct 2017, Webinar, Birmingham, UK

Join us for an interactive evening exploring the possibilities of implementing digital construction in real life projects.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.