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£300m New London Mega-Court to be Built by 2025

£300m New London Mega-Court to be Built by 2025

Cyber crime and business crime defence lawyers

London is to see an extensive new court complex being built in the next five years, including 18 courtrooms and a flagship, specialist facility for dealing with cyber and economic crimes, it has been announced.

The new justice centre – expected to be completed by 2025 – will replace the city’s long-standing civil courts, as well as London’s magistrates’ court and county courts. In addition, the City of London police station and a new court specialising in cyber-crime and economic fraud will also be housed in the Fleet Street development.

Announcing the plans, Lord Chancellor David Gauke said that the “state-of-the-art court” sent “a further message to the world that Britain both prizes business and stands ready to deal with the changing nature of 21st-century crime.”

The updates are set to cost £300m, and come as part of a £1bn government project to modernise England & Wales’ courts and tribunals. Other measures so far enacted to this end include new, online options being introduced for the use of highly subscribed court services, such as divorce and probate applications, pleas for minor motoring offences and small money claims.

Specialist cyber-crime court planned as global cyber-crime rates rise

Legal experts say that plans to include a specialised cyber-crime court with an array of judges boasting expertise in complex ransomware, malware and GDPR issues could attract more global businesses to England’s legal services, as cyber-crime against corporations remains on the rise worldwide.

A report published by the National Crime Agency estimates that the global costs of cyber fraud will continue to escalate this year, with business email compromise fraud (BEC fraud) alone expected to cost companies over $9bn in 2018.

City of London Corporation chair Catherine McGuinness echoed predictions regarding the increasing relevance of a cyber-crime specialist court, stating:

“Our rule of law is one of the many reasons why London is the world’s most innovative, dynamic, and international financial centre, 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,” McGuinness added.

Additionally, the specialist centre – which will be the first of its kind — may also make it easier to obtain an injunction against cyber criminals, who are often “persons unknown” and therefore cannot be specifically named in an injunction order.

Last year, the High Court of England and Wales issued the world’s first ever freezing order against “persons unknown” in relation to cyber fraud.

New facility to give UK legal sector an edge post-Brexit

The addition of a new specialist court and updated London courts centre will be welcomed by many as a way of securing Britain’s competitive edge as a world-leading legal jurisdiction after Brexit.

English law is currently chosen in 40% of all global corporate arbitrations, with revenue generated by the UK’s legal sector totalling £31.5bn in 2016.

However, other European jurisdictions may be looking to profit from Brexit, using perceived uncertainty around Britain’s legal and political status to attract businesses away from UK courts. In recent months, French justice minister Nicole Belloubet has proposed creating an English language commercial court in France, charging only €100 for the language service.

The Brussels International Business Court meanwhile has issued proposals to render its decisions more attractive by removing the right to appeal. In Germany – which already hosts an English speaking commercial court – minsters have equally expressed hopes that Brexit will bring their business courts more work.

Julian Acratopulo, president of the London Solicitors Litigation Association , however notes that “beyond some use of the English language, there is no real equivalence or competition” between other European courts and the UK court system, citing the high expertise and specialism of British commercial judges.

The introduction of a cyber crime and economic fraud specific court will only widen this expertise, placing the UK legal sector at the forefront of decision making and justice relief for some of modern businesses’ most pressing crime concerns.

Business and cyber crime defence experts

We have one of the leading teams of crime defence lawyers in specialising in business and cyber crime in West London and the South East. Call us now in complete confidence on 0330 999 4999 for immediate emergency representation. Alternatively please email criminaldefence@ibblaw.co.uk.