Court fees in civil proceedings
Court fees in civil proceedings

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Court fees in civil proceedings
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Current court fees
  • Issuing a claim for a sum of money (Fee 1.1)
  • Issuing a non-money claim
  • Recovery of land (Fee 1.4)
  • Other claims (Fee 1.5)
  • Issuing a combined claim (money and non-money)
  • Making a counterclaim (Fee 1.7)
  • Amending a claim or counterclaim
  • More...

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The guidance detailing normal practice set out in this Practice Note may be affected by measures concerning process and procedure in the civil courts that have been introduced as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For general guidance on the implications of the pandemic for dispute resolution practitioners, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19) implications for dispute resolution. For information regarding payment of court fees, see:

  1. Royal Courts of Justice:

    1. court fees can be paid:

      1. by debit or credit card by contacting the Fees Office on 020 7073 4715 between 10 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays) or by emailing RCJfeespayments@justice.gov.uk. Once the payment has been processed you will receive a receipt to submit with the claim form and/or application form to the relevant jurisdiction by email, post or drop box which is situated in the main entrance of the Royal Courts of Justice

      2. by CE-file where available. For more information, see: How to pay court fees

      3. by PBA (payment by account) for customers who have such an account. When doing so, parties must include the reference number in a covering letter with any claim form and/or application lodged with the court, either by email, post or drop box which is situated in the main entrance to the Royal Courts of Justice. For more information, see: How to pay court fees

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    1. by cheque. Cheques should be made payable to HMCTS and either posted with the claim form and/or application form or placed in the drop box which is situated at the main entrance to the Royal Courts of Justice
  • the Royal Courts of Justice Fees Office counter service is open to the public on an appointment only basis, Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 4.30 pm (except bank holidays). Appointments can be booked by calling 020 79476527 between 10 am and 4 pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays) or emailing feesofficecounterbooking@justice.gov.uk and users must wait for confirmation before attending. Court users should enter the Royal Courts of Justice via the main Strand entrance and make their way directly to the Fees Office, then leave via the designated exit

    1. for general fee related enquiries the Fees Office can be contacted on Feesrcj@justice.gov.uk or by telephone on 020 79476825 between 10 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays)
  • Court of Appeal—for information on paying fees in the Court of Appeal, see Practice Note: Starting an appeal—general provisions—Coronavirus—implications for appeals

  • Administrative Court—see: LNB News 18/06/2020 69—Administrative Court Office updates guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) measures

    1. CE-file—for information on paying fees using CE-file, see: How to pay court fees

  • Current court fees

    This Practice Note provides information on the key court fees payable for civil proceedings in the Court of Appeal, High Court and County Court, as set out in Civil Proceedings Fees Order, SI 2008/1053, Sch 1 (as amended).

    For the current court fees schedule, see:

    The majority of court fees for civil matters are contained in the Civil Proceedings Fees Order, SI 2008/1053, Sch 1, which is amended when any of the court fees in Schedule 1 to this SI are changed. Some civil proceedings fees are set out in other legislation, including Supreme Court fees—see Practice Note: Supreme Court—costs, fees and funding—UKSC Fees.

    Where solicitors have a fee account with HMCTS for the payment of court fees, and the solicitors provide authorisation for HMCTS to collect a particular fee, procedures should still be put in place to ensure that the fee is actually collected by HMCTS. For an example of a claim in which, due to a court administrative error, a trial fee was not collected by HMCTS which resulted in the automatic sanction of the claim being struck out (for which relief was ultimately given), see NDI Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers v Iroko Securities—News Analysis: Case management and relief from sanctions—dealing with failure to pay trial fee (NDI Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers Ltd v Iroko Securities Ltd) and Fixing a trial date/period (the ‘trial fee’ or ‘listing fee’) (Fee 2.1).

    The following are the specific fees payable for issuing a claim and taking certain steps in civil proceedings in the Court of Appeal, High Court and County Court, as set out in the Civil Proceedings Fees Order, SI 2008/1053, Sch 1. The references to fee numbers (eg Fee 1.1, Fee 1.2 etc) are to the fees as numbered in Schedule 1 of this SI. Also set out below are the fees for swearing and affirming affidavits under the Commissioners for Oaths (Fees) Order 1993, SI 1993/2297 and the Commissioners for Oaths (Authorised Persons) (Fees) Order 1993, SI 1993/2298.

    Issuing a claim for a sum of money (Fee 1.1)

    The fee for issuing a claim for a sum of money (excluding County Court Business Centre (CCBC) cases brought by Centre users or cases brought by Money Claim Online users) depends on the amount claimed:

    Amount claimedFee payable
    does not exceed £300£35
    exceeds £300 but does not exceed £500£50
    exceeds £500 but does not exceed £1,000£70
    exceeds £1,000 but does not exceed £1,500£80
    exceeds £1,500 but does not exceed £3,000£115
    exceeds £3,000 but does not exceed £5,000£205
    exceeds £5,000 but does not exceed £10,000£455
    exceeds £10,000 but does not exceed £200,0005% of the value of the claim
    exceeds £200,000 or is not limited or the claimant does not identify the value of the claim£10,000

    The fee for issuing a claim for a sum of money in CCBC cases brought by Centre users, cases brought by Money Claim Online users or claims under the Online Civil Money Claims Pilot depends on the amount claimed:

    Amount claimedFee payable
    does not exceed £300£25
    exceeds £300 but does not exceed £500£35
    exceeds £500 but does not exceed £1,000£70
    exceeds £1,000 but does not exceed £1,500£70
    exceeds £1,500 but does not exceed £3,000£105
    exceeds £3,000 but does not exceed £5,000£185
    exceeds £5,000 but does not exceed £10,000£410
    exceeds £10,000 but does not exceed £100,0004.5% of the value of the claim

    For information on issuing County Court money claims, see Practice Note: County Court money claims—how and where to issue.

    For information on the Online Civil Money Claims Pilot see Practice Note: Online Civil Money Claims pilot scheme—CPR PD 51R.

    If interest is being claimed, this is included in the value of the claim for the purposes of the court fee. For more information on claiming interest, see Practice Note: Claiming interest.

    Calculation of the court fee for issuing a claim (which is determined by statutory instrument) is separate to the requirement to include a statement of value in a claim form (pursuant to CPR 16) (Bhatti v Asghar)—see Practice Note: Claim form—the contents—Statement of value.

    A claim for an inquiry as to damages is classed as a money claim for the purposes of paying the court fee (Lifestyles Equities v Sportsdirect.com Retail). In Udeshi v Sieratzki the court held that a claim for immediate payment on the taking of an account of profits or equitable compensation attracted the court fee for amounts that were ‘not limited’.

    Fee 1.1 is also the fee payable on bringing an additional claim against a person who is not already a party to proceedings pursuant to CPR 20.2(1)(c) (Walayat v Berkeley Solicitors Ltd). For more information on this case, see: Adding or substituting parties (Fee 1.6).

    Issuing a non-money claim

    Recovery of land (Fee 1.4)

    The fee for issuing a claim for the recovery of land is £480 in the High Court, £355 in the County Court and £325 where the Possession Claims Online website is used.

    Other claims (Fee 1.5)

    The fee for issuing a claim for any other remedy apart from a money claim or for the recovery of land is £528 in the High Court and £308 in the County Court. This is the fee for issuing a claim under CPR 8.

    Where more than one non-money claim is made in the same proceedings, Fee 1.5 is payable once only, in addition to any fee which is payable if there is also a money claim (see: Issuing a combined claim (money and non-money)).

    Note that a claim for an account of profits is classed as a non-money claim for the purpose of paying the court fee (Lifestyles Equities v Sportsdirect.com, applying Page v Hewetts Solicitors).

    Issuing a combined claim (money and non-money)

    Where a money claim is additional or alternative to a claim for recovery of land or goods, only Fee 1.4 or 1.5 (as appropriate) is payable.

    Where a money claim is additional to a non-money claim (other than a claim for recovery of land or goods), then both Fees 1.1 and 1.5 are payable

    Where a money claim is alternative to a non-money claim (other than a claim for recovery of land or goods), then:

    1. in the High Court—only Fee 1.1 is payable

    2. in the County Court—whichever is greater of Fee 1.1 or Fee 1.5 is payable

    Making a counterclaim (Fee 1.7)

    Where a defendant files a counterclaim, the fee payable is the same fee as if the remedy sought were the subject of separate proceedings (see Fees 1.1, 1.4 or 1.5 as appropriate).

    For more information on making a counterclaim, see Practice Note: Making an additional claim under CPR 20—counterclaim, defence to counterclaim and reply to defence to counterclaim.

    Amending a claim or counterclaim

    Where the claim or counterclaim is amended, and the fee paid before amendment is less than that which would have been payable if the document, as amended, had been so drawn in the first instance, the party amending the document must pay the difference.

    For more information on amending a statement of case, see Practice Note: Amending a statement of case—introduction and costs.

    Adding or substituting parties (Fee 1.6)

    Where a claimant or defendant adds or substitutes a party or parties to the proceedings a fee of £55 is payable.

    However, despite the ‘wide wording’ of fee 1.6, the court in Walayat v Berkeley Solicitors Ltd held that the fee payable on bringing an additional claim against a person who is not already a party to proceedings pursuant to CPR 20.2(1)(c) is fee 1.1, and not fee 1.6. The court in Walayat stated that the fee set out in para 1.6 is not applicable in such a situation, but is aimed at situations typically covered by an application under CPR 19.4 ie where a new party is joined without any new causes of action or new claims being introduced (save in so far as they technically be new because of the change of the identity of the parties). The court gave examples of such claims which would attract the fee in para 1.6 as being: the substitution of personal representatives on the death of a party, the addition of a party who is argued to be liable in the same way as an existing party, or the substitution of a different party because a mistake had been made as to the identity of the party originally sued. For more information on this case, see News Analysis: Court fees—fee payable on the filing of an additional claim (Walayat v Berkeley Solicitors and others).

    For more information on adding and substituting parties, see Practice Note: Adding (joinder) and substituting parties.

    Application for assessment of costs (costs-only proceedings) (Fee 1.8(b))

    Where a party wishes to claim under CPR 8 for an assessment of costs to recover pre-action costs where the parties have agreed to settle the dispute before the commencement of proceedings but they have been unable to agree costs, the fee for making the application is £55.

    Note that when Fee 1.8(b) is payable, Fees 1.1 and/or 1.5 are not payable.

    For more information on costs-only proceedings, see Practice Note: Costs-only proceedings (Part 8).

    Application for assessment of solicitors’ costs (Fee 1.8(b))

    Where an application is made under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974 for the assessment of costs payable to a solicitor by a client, the fee for making the application is £55.

    Note that when Fee 1.8(b) is payable, Fees 1.1 and/or 1.5 are not payable.

    For more information on the assessment of solicitors’ costs, see Practice Note: Recovery of costs, solicitor’s rights, and non-statutory assessments.

    Making an application

    Coronavirus (COVID-19)—if you are making an application to adjourn a hearing because of the coronavirus pandemic (for example because you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus, are self-isolating or have childcaring responsibilities related to coronavirus), in accordance with advice issued by HMCTS, the court may waive the court fee (in its discretion). For more information, see: Application fees waived for adjourning civil and family cases resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19)—LNB News 23/03/2020 102.

    Failure to pay the court fee will not invalidate the application but will mean that no action will be taken on the application until the fee is paid (Chelfat v Chelfat).

    On notice applications (Fee 2.4)

    The fee for making an application on notice (where no other fee is specified) is £255, except for applications under section 3 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (PHA 1997) or applications for a payment out of funds deposited in court. The fee in these two types of case is £155.

    For more information on making an application, see Practice Note: Making an application.

    Applications by consent or without notice (Fee 2.5)

    The fee for making an application by consent or without notice (where no other fee is specified) is £100, except for applications under PHA 1997, s 3 or applications for a payment out of funds deposited in court. The fee in these two types of case is £50.

    Note that for the purposes of Fee 2.5 a request for a judgment or order on admission or in default does not constitute an application and no fee is payable.

    This fee is not payable on an application by consent for an adjournment of a hearing where the application is received by the court at least 14 days before the date set for that hearing.

    If an application is made without notice and subsequently directions are given for the application to be dealt with on notice, the balance of the court fee payable for on notice applications (ie £155) will become payable (R (on the application of Godson) v County Court at Central London).

    For more information on making an application without notice, see Practice Note: Applications without notice. For more information on consent orders and judgments, see Practice Note: Consent orders and judgments.

    Making an application for permission to issue proceedings (Fee 1.8(a))

    The fee for making an application to issue proceedings is £55.

    This fee will be payable by a person who is subject to a civil restraint order (CRO) and who is seeking the court’s permission to issue proceedings or make an application within the constraints of that CRO. For more information, see Practice Note: Civil restraint orders—Applying for permission to issue a claim or make an application.

    Fixing a trial date/period (the ‘trial fee’ or ‘listing fee’) (Fee 2.1)

    A fee is payable when the court fixes a trial date or trial period, except where the court fixes the trial date on the issue of the claim. The amount of the fee depends on which track the claim has been allocated to:

    1. multi-track—£1,090

    2. fast track—£545

    3. small claims track—depends on the sum claimed:

    Amount claimedFee payable
    does not exceed £300£25
    exceeds £300 but does not exceed £500£55
    exceeds £500 but does not exceed £1,000£80
    exceeds £1,000 but does not exceed £1,500£115
    exceeds £1,500 but does not exceed £3,000£170
    exceeds £3,000 but does not exceed £5,000£335

    Who pays the trial fee?

    The trial fee is usually payable by the claimant but it is payable by the defendant where the claim is proceeding on the counterclaim alone.

    Timing for payment, refunds and failure to pay the trial fee

    The timing of payment of the trial fee and the position regarding any refund of it and strike out for failure to pay it, depend on whether the court gave notice of the trial date or the start of the trial period before or after 6 March 2017. This is as a result of changes that came into force on this date regarding the trial fee (see News Analysis: Changes to court fees in force 6 March 2017—refund of trial fees abolished).

    As to the deemed date when notice is given by the court of the trial date/period, this will depend if the notice is given orally or in writing:

    1. notice given by the court in writing only or in writing and orally—the deemed date is the date on which the written notice is sent by the court

    2. notice given by the court orally only—the deemed date is the date as communicated by the court

    It is the payor’s responsibility to make sure that the trial fee is paid. Where solicitors have a fee account with HMCTS for the payment of court fees, procedures should be put in place to ensure that trial fees are collected on or before the due date (NDI Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers v Iroko Securities). In NDI Insurance, the claimant’s solicitors had a fee account with HMCTS and confirmed on the listing questionnaire that the listing fee was to be collected from this account. However, due to a court error it was not collected and the automatic sanction of strike out of the claim came into effect. The judge granted relief from the automatic sanction, largely due to the fact that this was an administrative error on the part of the court, but the judge noted that ‘it is for the solicitor to ensure that payment is made on time’. For more information on this decision, see News Analysis: Case management and relief from sanctions—dealing with failure to pay trial fee (NDI Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers Ltd v Iroko Securities Ltd).

    In Badejo v Cranston, the claimant failed to pay the trial fee on time due to human error but was granted relief from sanction on appeal. One of the key issues in granting the appeal and reconsidering the application for relief, was the failure by the court to list the claimant’s application for relief promptly. Had this been done, the court was of the view that the trial date would not have been lost, as the relief application could have been dealt with in good time so that the trial date was maintained. The court also took this factor into account in exercising its discretion afresh as to whether relief from sanction should be granted (applying the Denton criteria—see Practice Note: Relief from sanctions—the courts’ approach). The court held that the breach was a moderately serious breach and that there was no proper justification for it since it was a matter of inadvertence. As for the court considering all the circumstances of the case, factors which justified the grant of relief were that the application for relief was made promptly, the additional costs and inconvenience caused to the respondent were limited, and the consequences of refusal of relief would be serious since the appellant would lose a valuable claim. Factors against granting relief were the demands on the court's administrative and judicial resources (in dealing with a late application) and a previous default by the appellant which required an application for relief against sanctions (with the court, however, noting that the respondent had also sought relief against sanctions). As regards the potential loss of the claim against the respondent, this was tempered by the ability of the appellant to bring a new claim or to bring a claim in negligence against their solicitors (the latter likely to be more expensive). But this would be costly and very significant in terms of diminishing the real value of the claim (which was valued at £120,000). It would also further stretch the court's resources. As such, justice was better done by proceeding to a trial, rather than requiring the appellant to start new proceedings and/or bring a claim for negligence against the solicitors since the latter would be disproportionate to the seriousness of the breach and any harm done to the administration of justice or to the respondent. The court, however, noted that if the breach had caused the loss of the trial date, this would have been a significant factor, and the court warned that litigants and solicitors were therefore well advised to take no risk with the late payment of court fees. For more information on this case, see News Analysis: Litigants who fail to pay court trial fees should not expect relief of automatic strike out of a claim (Badejo v Cranston).

    Notice of trial date given on or after 6 March 2017

    When the court notifies parties in writing of the trial date it will also send out a fee notice which states the amount of the trial fee, when it is due and the consequences of non-payment.

    The ‘trial date’ could be a fixed date or a trial period. For the purposes of payment of the trial fee, if the court gives a ‘trial period’, the ‘trial date’ means the date of the Monday of the first week of that specified period.

    Trial fees will be payable:

    1. where notice is given by the court 36 days or more before the trail date—no later than 28 days prior to the trial date/week

    2. where notice is given by the court less than 36 days before the trail date—within seven days after the date of the notice

    If the court gives notice of both a trial date and a trial period, the above is calculated by reference to the Monday of the first week of the trial period.

    If an application for fee remission is refused in whole or in part, the trial fee (or the amount of the fee which remains unremitted) is payable on the later of the following:

    1. within seven days after the court giving notice of refusal of fee remission (or refusal in part), or

    2. at least 28 days prior to the trial date or the Monday of the first week of the notified trial period

    If the court fixes the trial date on the issue of the claim, the trial fee is not payable.

    There is no right to claim a refund or partial refund of the trial fee if the case is settled or discontinued after payment.

    If the trial fee is not paid by the due date and the fee paying party has not applied for a fee remission (or has applied but it has been refused in whole or part), the claim (or counterclaim if the action is proceeding on the counterclaim alone) is automatically struck out without further order of the court (CPR 3.7A1(7), CPR 3.7A1(8), CPR 3.7AA(6), CPR 3.7AA(7)). Note: this only applies where the fee paying party is given notice in writing of the trial date/period (CPR 3.7A1(2), CPR 3.7AA(1)); where notice is only given orally, the pre-6 March 2017 position applies with regard to strike out.

    If a claim or counterclaim is struck out under CPR 3.7A1 or CPR 3.7AA the court will send notice that it has been struck out to the claimant and defendant (CPR PD 3B, para 1).

    If the claim or counterclaim is struck out, an application can be made to re-instate the claim/counterclaim and any relief will be conditional on the trial fee being paid or on evidence being filed of fee remission within a limited time from the order for relief being made (two days if the order is made at a hearing at which the fee paying party is present and seven days otherwise) (CPR 3.7A1(9), CPR 3.7AA(8)).

    If a fee is not paid by a claimant where there is also a counterclaim, the counterclaim will still stand (CPR 3.7A1(11)). But the same rules as apply to the automatic strike out of a claim will apply to the counterclaim where the defendant is liable for the trial fee and the trial fee is not paid on time (CPR 3.7AA).

    Notice of trial date given before 6 March 2017

    The position is different depending on which track the claim was allocated to:

    1. multi-track or fast trial:

      1. time for payment—when the pre-trial checklist (listing questionnaire) is filed, or when the court fixes the trial date/week if there is no pre-trial checklist

      2. refunds—if the claim settles or is discontinued at this stage, and if the party who paid the fee informs the court in writing, it will receive the following percentage refund:

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