It has been announced this week that the court fees for issuing a claim are to be increased from Monday 9 March 2015. This is merely a week’s notice of its implementation, following a rumour it may be increased very soon. I wrote an article on our blog a short while ago indicating the Government was thinking about this move, but certainly no one expected it to be so soon.
The following table shows how the increase in fees will be changed. The most significant is that any claim over £250,000 will now have an issue fee of £10,000. This is extortionate and is an increase of a massive 481%.
|Value of Claim £ ||Fee now £ (paper) ||New fee £ || Increase in fee £ ||% increase |
|20,000 ||610 ||1,000 ||390 ||64% |
|40,000 ||610 ||2,000 ||1,390 ||228% |
|90,000 ||910 ||4,500 ||3,590 ||395% |
|150,000 ||1,315 ||7,500 ||6,185 ||470% |
|190,000 ||1,315 ||9,500 ||8,185 ||622% |
|200,000 ||1,515 ||10,000 ||8,725 ||576% |
|250,000 ||1,720 ||10,000 ||8,280 ||481% |
What happens next will remain to be seen. However, it is inevitable that people will certainly be made to think twice about issuing claims. Perhaps this is the Government’s intention, with the hope that it frees up Court time. However, there is a serious argument to be considered on whether this is putting a price on access to legal advice and the right to bring a claim. In addition, we have no issued guidance on whether those higher fees are likely to be recovered during litigation.
It is worth noting that mediation will now be considered a more favourable option from the beginning in order to settle disputes, rather than going ahead and issuing a claim.
Nockolds has a number of solicitors experienced in complex negotiations, and in addition, have trained mediators to help parties reach a settlement. If you want to have a chat about how Nockolds could help mediate a dispute of yours, get in touch today.