Construction begins on brand new flagship London court in the Square Mile

Photo credit: UK Gov

The construction of a state-of-the-art combined court is underway in the heart of London’s legal centre as part of Salisbury Square, a new development on Fleet Street.

The Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Brandon Lewis, unveiled the foundation stones at the construction site yesterday (18 October 2022).

The City of London Law courts will be a modern, efficient and flexible centre for London’s legal services, providing a total of 18 hearing rooms, an increase of 10 on the courts they will replace in 2026. This consists of 8 Crown, six civil and four magistrates’ courtrooms. The court will focus on high-level fraud, cyber and economic crime.

It forms part of wider HM Courts and Tribunals Service estate investment, with £105 million spent during 2021 to 2022 to transform courts and tribunals across England and Wales.

Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Brandon Lewis, said:

The City of London Law courts represent a vision of how justice will work in future – with modern, innovative and flexible courts in fit for purpose buildings.

The Salisbury Square development symbolises our place as one of the leading centres for business, law and justice as we ensure that the UK remains attractive to global business and investment.

The court’s foundation stone is the first in the courts estate to be laid under the reign of King Charles III and the first to be inscribed with ‘KC’ – ‘King’s Counsel’ – in over 70 years.

Developed by The City of London Corporation, Salisbury Square creates a new civic quarter in the Square Mile, bringing together first-class legal and law enforcement facilities. It will generate 400 new jobs and support 2,100 more, enhancing the UK’s reputation as a global destination for business and investment. Once complete, it will see millions invested into the City of London’s economy, thanks to the global appeal of the UK’s legal services.

Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, Chris Hayward, said:

Fraud is now the most common crime in the UK, costing the economy billions every year and causing misery for businesses and individuals.

By strengthening our capability to crack down on economic crime, we will enhance the City’s reputation as a world-leading location to do business and keep consumers across the UK safe from fraud.

The Salisbury Square Development will play a vital role in ensuring we can adapt to the changing demands of policing and delivering justice, supporting the UK economy and helping attract international business.

The new building will provide ease of access for all those that use the court, from legal professionals to victims. Facilities will include lifts and wide corridors that provide access for wheelchair users, helping to ensure there are as few barriers as possible for people with disabilities or limited mobility.

The court will be fitted out with all available courtroom technology, with screens and cameras enabling courtrooms to seamlessly transmit and receive video evidence with other court locations.

The court complex has a lifespan of 125 years – triple the design life of a typical building – and sustainability is at the core of its construction, with the new court to run on clean energy sources. It will include an all-electric heating and cooling system provided by 300 metre deep thermal piles to store summer heat below ground for reuse in the winter months. The highly insulated external facades reduce the winter energy demand whilst façade solar shading reduces the cooling required in the summer. Materials will be reclaimed from the buildings that have been demolished for reuse in the new construction.

Designed by Eric Parry Architects, Salisbury Square also includes a new headquarters for the City of London Police, as well as a commercial building. The development will rejuvenate its historic surroundings, forming a gathering place for people to enjoy with outdoor seating and new shops, bars and restaurants.


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