City set to get new fraud and cyber crime courts hub near Fleet Street

Lucy White
The City of London Magistrates' Court will be brought into the new building (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Square Mile is set to get a new judicial centre, replacing all of the City's current courts except the Old Bailey, to be located in the Fleet Street area.

Backed by the City of London Corporation, the Square Mile's local authority, the proposed building would bring together the Mayor’s and City of London County Court and the Magistrates’ Court.

The new building, which will create space for 18 courtrooms, will focus primarily on fraud, economic crime and cyber crime, but will also hear other criminal and civil cases.

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“This new flagship court will build on UK legal services’ unique comparative advantage, by leading the drive to tackle fraud and crack down on cyber crime,” said justice minister Dominic Raab.

"By reinforcing the City’s world-leading reputation as the number one place to do business and resolve disputes, it’s a terrific advert for post-Brexit Britain.”

Financial services firms make up 17 per cent of the total demand for legal services in the UK, generating £2.8bn.

Just over nine per cent of the Square Mile’s workforce (44,000 jobs) are currently employed in legal services and one in eight workers in the legal sector are based in the City of London.

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The plans for the new building are being developed in partnership with HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS), which is currently investing more than £1bn in the reform of English and Welsh courts to make them more efficient and accessible, and the judiciary.

The City of London Corporation will now commission a feasibility study, expected to be ready for early next year, to analyse the cost implications and find potential funding sources. It will also launch a study to examine the economic benefits to London.

“Our legal system has been an example to the rest of the world. Playing host to some of the world’s leading regulators, financial services and tech firms, the City is a natural choice to house this modern judicial centre,” said Catherine McGuinness, policy chairman at the City of London Corporation.

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