The High Court has managed to battle on the day after judges were among thousands of people forced to evacuate their building when a nearby electrical fire caused a blackout.
The main Royal Courts of Justice complex was closed today following a fire in Kingsway in Holborn, central London, which began just after midday yesterday.
HM Courts and Tribunals Service postponed 18 cases from the Central London Bankruptcy list, four cases from Central London County Court, seven one-day fast-track trials for Central London County Court and 13 cases from the Queen’s Bench Masters list.
However it was able to hear the following cases from the nearby Rolls Building: 42 small-claims pilot cases from the Central London County Court, three Family Division cases and two Chancery cases. All urgent applications lists for family, Queen’s Bench and Chancery divisions ran as normal albeit from the Rolls building.
Meanwhile the Law Society expects to open as normal on Tuesday after it closed its headquarters in Chancery Lane today.
A spokesperson said: ‘As the Society remained without power late on Wednesday night, we advised staff that the office would be closed for health and safety reasons. Power has now been restored to the area and we are confident that the Society will open as normal following the bank holiday weekend.'
The Gazette has been publishing as normal from off-site premises.
‘We apologise for the disruption that our necessary closure will have caused for solicitors wanting to access our library, practice advice and other services today.
‘Disruption has been kept to a minimum for the Society’s other work, as many staff are working remotely.’
8pm update: The main Royal Courts of Justice complex will open as normal on Tuesday, apart from certain work which will take place at the Rolls Building, HMCTS confirmed. The Rolls Building will sit as normal, and will also sit Central London County Court hearings, the small claims scheme, bankruptcy hearings and senior courts cost office hearings.
However the employment tribunal at Victory House in Kingsway will be temporarily closed on Tuesday. Hearings will be rescheduled.
Members of the public planning on attending a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday should call 020 7947 6000 after 9am for any queries.
Members of the public planning on attending a hearing at the employment tribunal should call 020 3206 0667 between 9.30am and 5pm. They should also call this number to enquire about hearings listed beyond Tuesday.