A new flagship court specifically designed to tackle cyber crime, fraud and economic crime will reinforce the UK’s reputation as a world-leading legal centre. Developed in partnership with the City of London Corporation and the Judiciary, the cutting-edge, purpose-built court, which will also deal with business and property work as well as civil cases, will hold 18 modern courtrooms and replace the ageing civil court, the Mayor’s and City of London County Court and the City of London Magistrates’ Court. Also included in the court will be a new City of London Police Station.
A feasibility study to look at whether a court might be built was announced last October, and now the plan has been given the go-ahead. Speaking to members of the senior Judiciary at Mansion House on 4 July, the Lord Chancellor David Gauke (alongside the Lord Mayor, Charles Bowman, and the Lord Chief Justice) revealed that the court will be built on the site of Fleetbank House in the heart of the City.
English law is currently used in 40% of all global corporate arbitrations, and more than 200 foreign law firms currently have offices in the UK. Revenue generated by legal activities in the UK was worth £31.5 billion in 2016, while the Top 100 UK law firms generated over £22 billion in 2016-2017. Built next to some of the world’s leading legal, business and technology firms in the heart of legal London, this court will be a sign to the world that the UK remains the global centre for law and finance.
Lord Chancellor David Gauke said: “The flag of English law is flown in countries across the globe, and London already leads the way as the best place to do business and resolve disputes. This state-of-the-art court is a further message to the world that Britain both prizes business and stands ready to deal with the changing nature of 21st Century crime.”
World’s financial centre
The City of London is the world’s financial centre, hosting as it does an unparalleled cluster of financial, professional and business services. The City’s legal services offer, clustered around the Temples in the West of the Square Mile (which plays host to more than 17,000 solicitors), is a vibrant centre for international law firms serving their clients across the world.
Commenting on the announcement, Catherine McGuinness (policy chair of the City of London Corporation) stated: “This is a hugely significant step in a project that will give the Square Mile its second iconic courthouse after the Old Bailey. Our rule of law is one of the many reasons why London is the world’s most innovative, dynamic and international financial centres, and this new court will add to our many existing strengths. I’m particularly pleased that this court will have a focus on the legal issues of the future, such as fraud, economic crime and cyber crime. Fleet Street may historically be known for hosting newspapers, but I believe with this iconic project it will be seen as a world-leading centre for legal services and justice for decades to come.”
Timeline for the building
The timeline for building the new court is subject to finalising funding arrangements and securing planning permission. It’s expected to be completed in 2025.
The proposal for a new court was first announced by the City of London Corporation. Funding will now be provided by the City of London Corporation and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal that is currently at Fleetbank House will move to the Rolls Building.
The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.