Court Fee Increases
On 4 March 2015, the House of Lords approved the Government's proposals to increase civil court fees. New court fees for civil claims were therefore introduced on Monday, 9 March 2015.
Previously, court issue fees were fixed according to the value of the claim. There was also a maximum issue fee of £1,920 for claims valued at £300,000 or more. Now, however, the following applies:
- Issue fees for claims below £10,000 will remain unchanged;
- Issues fees for claims between £10,000 - £199,999 will be 5% of the claim value;
- The issue fee for claims of £200,000 and above will be fixed at £10,000;
- There will be a 10% discount on issue fees for claims between £10,000 - £99,999 filed electronically;
- A claim issued for an unspecified amount will incur the maximum fee of £10,000.
The above will apply to all money claims, including counterclaims to the value of £10,000 or more.
These increases have, in some circumstances, increased issue fees by over 600%; causing understandable concern across the legal profession. In fact, the Law Society, along with a number of other legal professional bodies, have criticised the increases and sent a pre-action protocol letter to the Ministry of Justice for Judicial Review.
It is anticipated that the fee increases will have a disproportionate effect on small and medium-sized businesses, and claimants suffering from serious personal injury or clinical negligence. The Government have advised that they will continue to monitor matters but if there is no obvious impact, it may be that higher court fees are here to stay and further fees may be introduced to reduce the running costs of the court on taxpayers and to re-distribute those costs onto court users instead.
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.