A new flagship court specifically designed to tackle cybercrime, fraud, and economic crime will reinforce the UK’s reputation as a world-leading legal centre
Developed in partnership with the City of LondonCorporation and the judiciary, the cutting edge,purpose-built court, which will also deal with businessand property work as well as civil cases, will hold 18modern courtrooms and replace the ageing civilcourt, Mayor’s and City of London County Court,and City of London Magistrates’ Court. Also includedin the court will be a new City of London policestation.
A feasibility study to look at whether a court might bebuilt was announced last October, and now the planhas been given the go-ahead. Speaking to membersof the senior judiciary at the Mansion House thisevening [4 July], the Lord Chancellor, alongside theLord Mayor, Charles Bowman, and Lord Chief Justice, will reveal that the court will be built on the siteof 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 lawfirms currently have offices in the UK. Revenue generated by legal activities in the UK was worth £31.5bnin 2016, and the top 100 UK law firms generatedover £22bn in 2016/17. Built next to some of theworld’s leading legal, business and technology firmsin the heart of legal London, this court will be a signto the world that the UK remains the global centrefor law and finance.
Lord Chancellor David Gauke said:
:The flag of English law is flown in countries acrossthe globe, and London already leads the way as thebest place to do business and resolve disputes. Thisstate-of-the-art court is a further message to the worldthat Britain both prizes business and stands ready todeal with the changing nature of 21st century crime.”
The City of London is the world’s financial centre,hosting an unparalleled cluster of financial, professional, and business services. The City’s legal servicesoffer, clustered around the Temples in the West of theSquare Mile, which plays host to more than 17,000solicitors, is a vibrant centre for international lawfirms serving their clients across the world.
Commenting on the announcement Policy Chairmanof the City of London Corporation CatherineMcGuinness said:
“This is a hugely significant step in this project thatwill give the Square Mile its second iconic courthouseafter the Old Bailey. Our rule of law is one of themany reasons why London is the world’s most innovative, dynamic, and international financial centre,and this new court will add to our many existingstrengths. I’m particularly pleased that this court willhave a focus on the legal issues of the future, such asfraud, economic crime, and cyber-crime. Fleet Streetmay historically be known for hosting newspapers,but I believe with this iconic project it will be seen asa world leading centre for legal services and justicefor decades to come.”
The Government is investing £1 billion in reformingand modernising courts and tribunals, which has already delivered:
• A fully paperless system in conjunction with Transport for London - which means thousands of casesinvolving fare evasion are dealt with more swiftly andeffectively.
• An online system which enables court staff to prepare case files and access them digitally in a courtroom during a hearing – saving 68 million pages ofpaper.
•The ability for those convicted of minor motoringoffences to make their initial plea online. Some 1500pleas are dealt with online every week. Court staffand the police automatically receive the completedonline plea form as soon as the defendant has submitted it, reducing delays.
In the civil courts people can now:
• Make a small money claim online – with over 3,000claims issued in the first month, cases movingthrough more quickly, and user satisfaction over 80%during the pre-launch pilot.
• Apply for a divorce online - which has cut errors inapplication forms from 40% to less than 1%, savingpeople time and trouble during a traumatic time.
• Apply for probate online - which has also cut errors,sped up the process, and has a satisfaction rate ofmore than 90%.