Rise in Court Fees
Following the news that court fees have risen to five per cent of the value of the proceedings initially targeting money claims, with further enhanced fees planned across other cases, Edmund Coxhead, Partner at PCB Solicitors, explains what repercussions this will have and how it may affect claimants.
“The introduction of the controversial new fee structure came into force on Monday, and although it won’t affect small claims below £10,000, it’s set to impact significantly on medium-sized claims and could see court fees rise by over 500% for some cases. The increases are likely to have little impact on large claims, but for SMEs and lone litigants, it could have disastrous repercussions and may see them saddled with debts they simply can’t afford to pursue, particularly as court fees are payable prior to proceedings.
The Government’s reasoning for raising costs is to ensure courts are adequately resourced and to invest in the modernisation and improvement of the court system, however there are concerns that the fees will have a dramatic impact on the UK’s reputation as centre of dispute resolution, and ultimately restrict access to justice and limit those with limited financial means. In addition, it could lead to more self-represented litigants who are looking to cut costs elsewhere.”