The Law Society has thrown its weight behind the campaign for government funding for a new Commercial Court.
It is estimated that a new court, built to replace the much derided accommodation at St Dunstan's House, will cost at least £59m, but no government money has been set aside for the project.
"There is a pressing need for a new Commercial Court in London. The Commercial Court enjoys a pre-eminent reputation for high calibre judges and fair and efficient handling of domestic and international commercial disputes," said Law Society president Peter Williamson at the society's annual conference last Thursday, 25 September.
"The [former] Lord Chancellor [Lord Irvine of Lairg] announced in March 2001 plans to enhance the Commercial Court with modern IT and videoconferencing facilities and to examine the potential to house the court in a single, dedicated building," Williamson added.
"However, financing remains uncertain. I urge the Government to provide the finance for the necessary modernisation to maintain London as a first-class dispute resolution centre for the international business community."