Current legal debate rages about not just cuts to legal aid, but huge fee increases in issuing a money claim. A staggering statistic is that the fee increases proposed are 25 to 100 times greater than those payable in New York. Senior judges have stated concern about this because it could drive work away and would put SMEs and litigants in person at a disadvantage.
Senior judges have expressed deep concerns about dramatic increases of up to 600% in court fees. The government announced on Friday that the fee for issuing a money claim worth more than £10,000 will be increased to 5% of the sum claimed, subject to a maximum fee of £10,000. Calculations published by the civil justice council, which brings together judges and court users, indicate that court fees on a claim worth £200,000 will go up by £8,725. A claim worth slightly less than that figure will cost more than six times as much in court fees as it does now. Although very high-value litigation is unlikely to be deterred, the council adds, “the fee will be seen, by international standards, as a high entry price to begin a commercial case in this jurisdiction”.