A case for establishing a permanent High Court in Birmingham will be made today by the city's legal and business community.

If granted, Birmingham will become the only place outside London and Belfast to be able to sit top level legal cases.

Representatives from the city are due to meet Appeal Court judge Lord Justice May to argue that setting up a High Court in Birmingham will save the taxpayer millions of pounds and streamline the legal system.

A study conducted earlier this year estimated that 600 sitting days relating to matters in the Midlands are conducted in London every year.

Meanwhile, visits from circuit High Court judges have reduced by ten per cent since 1998, according to the research.

"The reality at the moment is that the Birmingham Bar is at a disadvantage," said Tony McDaid, practice director at No5 Chambers, one of the law firms campaigning for the change.

"Litigants are given no option in most cases other than going to London. We have seen 130 Judicial Review cases over recent times all being raised and heard in London.

"There is no thought given to the inconvenience and cost clients face."

The Birmingham High Court would sit within the existing court complex in Corporation Street and initially hear administrative cases, such as planning disputes. However, it is envisaged this would extend to all cases.