The High Court is hoping to resume normal business as soon as possible after judges were among thousands of people forced to evacuate their buildings when a nearby underground electrical fire caused a blackout.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service said last night that the main Royal Courts of Justice complex will be temporarily closed today.

Fire crews were called to Kingsway in Holborn, central London, at 12.30pm on Wednesday after smoke was seen coming out of an inspection cover.

The nearby Rolls Building will sit as normal, plus sit urgent RCJ business and the Central London County Court Small Claims Pilot.

HMCTS said: ’Staff are working closely with National Power UK to resolve the issue and the court will resume normal business as soon as possible.’

Members of the public who were intending to attend a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice are advised to call 020 7947 7000 after 9am before they travel as locations and timings of hearings may be subject to change.

The Legal Services Board, which has offices very near to the scene of the fire, was also closed today.

In a noticed on its website, the oversight regulator said all LSB systems are unavailable, including internet, email and telephone, as there was no power to its building. The LSB said it expects to be back to normal after the Easter weekend.

0900 update: North side of Strand, including the Law Courts and Law Society headquarters in Chancery Lane are still blacked out. Chancery Lane will be closed all day today. Law Society departments, including the Gazette, are working normally from remote locations.