Both senior Judges and the Regulatory Policy Committee (‘RPC’) have criticised proposals by the Ministry of Justice (‘MoJ’) to increase Court issue fees in order to fund modernisation of Court services and realise long-term financial savings.
Under the new proposals the MoJ plan to charge 5% of the value of the claim for all cases valued at more than £10,000.
This would for instance result in the Court issue fee on a claim for £150,000 being £7,500 under the new proposals as opposed to £1,115 under the current fee structure. The maximum fee is to be set at £10,000, an increase of 420% on the existing maximum of £1,920.
A further consultation is now underway to canvass opinion on whether additional fees should be levied for possession claims and general applications in civil proceedings.
The RPC have criticised the plans as “not fit for purpose” and, in some areas, “without any supporting evidence or discussion of risk”.
Senior Judges have also expressed concern about the proposals which in their view have the potential to have a disproportionately adverse impact on small and medium size businesses and litigants in person.
It remains to be seen whether the proposals will be revisited in the light of this criticism.
For further information on court procedures, fees and other matters pertaining to litigation, please contact the partner at Hunters having responsibility for your matters or, for new enquiries, please contact a member of our Dispute Resolution Team.