Sad to see another landmark of legal London being turned into the inevitable trendy lunch takeway. Hammicks legal bookshop at the corner of Chancery Lane and Fleet Street is no more (though Hammicks itself is very much still in business). Rival Wildy & Sons described the closure as a ‘sad day for bookselling’.

Peter Lake, business development director at the John Smith Group, which owns Hammicks, tells Obiter that the Fleet Street shop was no longer viable. ‘Footfall into the shop had been going down considerably over the last few years. The legal profession spends much more of its information budget on online services,’ he said.

Hammick’s has moved its book operations to a ‘distribution hub’ in Southampton.

Despite shutting up shop in Fleet Street, Lake says the company would like to establish a retail presence in legal London, ‘but one that’s better suited for our needs’.

The closure leaves Wildy & Sons in Lincoln’s Inn Archway and the south side of Fleet Street as the last local refuge for perambulating legal bibliophiles.