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Law Society ‘open for business’ just days after fire

5 February 2020

Paul Tennant, chief executive of the Law Society of England and Wales, today hailed the efforts of fire fighters who helped preserve the organisation’s Grade 2 listed building at 113 and 114 Chancery Lane in the capital when fire broke out on Saturday night.

“Our first concern was for our guests and staff and once we established there were no injuries our thoughts turned to our landmark building,” said Paul Tennant.

“While the fire caused extensive damage to the roof and upper floors of 114 we are delighted that 113 - housing the library, Reading Room and other key areas most familiar to our members and visitors - was preserved. We are indebted to the remarkable work of the fire service.

“Today, just three days after the fire, our teams are back in 113, our doors are open and planned events and meetings are going ahead which is a testament to our staff and everyone who works with the Society.

“I would like to thank the many people who sent good wishes and messages of support and offers of help – all of these were greatly appreciated at this challenging time. We have begun the process of assessing the damage and managing the next stage of our recovery.”

Notes to editors

Q&A

What caused the fire? It is too early to say definitively although there is no suggestion the circumstances were suspicious.

What has been damaged? The Law Society has two interconnected buildings on Chancery Lane 113 and 114. 113 is untouched. 114 has suffered extensive damage to the roof and the upper floors which are used as office space.

Was anyone hurt? Thankfully not – a fire alarm sounded late on Saturday night and an orderly evacuation was effected.

Are functions and events still taking place? Our public facing rooms are in 113 and – while we would advise keeping an eye on our website – we are open for business.

Are staff back in the building? There is a phased return with staff in from today (5 February 2020).

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Ben Davies | 0208 049 3750