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Despite concern expressed by the Civil Justice Council, the Lord Chief Justice and the Law Society, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed that it is to press ahead with its proposals to increase court fees in cases over £10,000 in value, following its consultation ‘Court fees: proposals for reform’.
It is proposed that court fees in cases above £10,000 in value will be based on 5% of the claim’s value (subject to a £10,000 cap), which will significantly impact higher value claims. The new fees were contained in the Government’s ‘enhanced charging’ proposals which aim to set some fees above the actual cost to the user.
The MoJ has also opened a further consultation to consider proposals for raising fee income from possession claims and general applications in civil proceedings. The deadline for responses to this consultation is 27 February 2015. To access the consultation click here.
The CJC is concerned that the proposals will reduce access to justice and also take business away from the courts, thereby defeating the objective of raising fee income. By way of example the CJC highlighted that the new fee structure will amount to a 622% increase for a case valued at £190,000.
The Government has however confirmed that fees for claims of less than £10,000 are unaffected and will remain at their current levels. Also that it will not be implementing the proposals for charging higher fees for high value commercial claims and introducing daily hearing charges.
The Law Society has stated that it intends to challenge the changes and will urge the Government to reverse its decision.
LexisPSL Dispute Resolution customers can see MoJ presses ahead with increase to court fees and issues further consultation for raising fee income for more details. Click here for a free trial.
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