In an email to the Intellectual Property Bar Association, our Chair Henry Carr QC reported that he and a party of other IP lawyers and patent attorneys visited 1000 Dockland Road, Royal Albert Dock, London E16 2QU last month. The reason for their visit is that the site has been identified as a possible venue for the London section of the central division of the Court of First Instance of the Unified Patent Court.
The estate agents' particulars sound idyllic:
- "Fully accessible raised floor
- Suspended ceiling with 1.5m planning grid
- Cat 5 lighting
- Excellent natural light
- Views over Royal Albert Dock
- Four pipe fan coil air conditioning
- 7 underground car parking spaces and bicycle storage
- 3 passenger lifts
- Five-storey winter garden and building reception
- On site coffee shop, cafeteria and news agents."!
Henry's note is also pretty encouraging:
"1. The facility is, potentially, very good for a European Institution. The space is large and will allow about five big courts as well as meeting rooms. Proper IT can be installed. There is a good, large canteen on the ground floor and catering can be brought to the meeting rooms.In my view, the location could not be better. Not only is it close to London City Airport and the Crossrail line it is linked by dual carriageway to the M11 which leads to the M25 making it accessible to all parts of the country. The building overlooks a marina. It is close to Beckton District Park. There is plenty of hotel accommodation nearby for parties, witnesses and legal representatives to suit all pockets. The building is in an attractive position overlooking a marina and not far from Beckton District Park.
2. There was slight aircraft noise at the front where some meeting rooms would be, but it was not intrusive. There was no noise at the back where the courts would be.
3. The journey took 40 minutes and involved one change. It is not ideal, but bearable. This situation will change in early 2018 with Crossrail as there is a station close to the site.
4. As well as direct flights, there are flights to City Airport from Amsterdam and Zurich, which are hubs for the rest of the world."
Not everyone likes the proposed site. Henry reports that AIPPI in particular wants a central London location. That would be much more convenient for practitioners in central London but this is a court for most of the EU with parties and lawyers coming from the whole of the UK, the rest of Europe and around the world. Our needs have to be considered too and for us Beckton is brilliant.