City lawyers have criticised government proposals to close the oldest local civil court in England, which they claim is one of the most efficient and successful county courts in London.

The government is consulting on closing the historic Mayor’s and City court, along with 54 other county courts and 103 magistrates’ courts.

Litigator David Greene, chairman of the court’s users group, said: ‘Mayor’s and City is a beacon of light in the dim picture of county court provision in London. It is successful, attracts domestic and overseas business, and is effective and efficient – all good reasons not to close it. Few other courts can live up to its standards.’

Seamus Smyth, president of the London Solicitors Litigation Association, said the court was ‘conspicuously the best of the central London county courts’. He added: ‘The City of London Corporation pays for the bricks and mortar – so what cost savings can be made?’

Christopher Chauncy of City firm Chauncy & Co, said: ‘Closing the court would mean more work going to the Central London County Court, which is already vastly overburdened.’