Court charges hike set for legal challenge

A “tax on those seeking justice” has seen some court fees rise by more than 600 per cent after new charges were brought in earlier than expected.

In January, the government decided that fees to issue proceedings for the recovery of money would be set at five per cent of the value of the claim for all claims over £10,000. The court fees affect cases involving debts owed to businesses as well as personal injury and clinical negligence claims.

It was originally thought the new fees would take effect in April but following approval by the House of Lords, the new regime was implemented on 9 March.

The fee to issue proceedings to recover £50,000 has now risen from £815 to £2,500 and for £150,000 from £1,115 to £7,500. The maximum fee to issue proceedings has been set at £10,000, the fee payable to issue a claim for £200,000.

The Law Society, the body that represents solicitors in England and Wales, has joined with other legal organisations to send a pre-action protocol letter to the Ministry of Justice, the first step towards seeking a judicial review to challenge the new fees.

Law Society president Andrew Caplen said: “The government’s policy on ‘enhanced court fees’ amounts to a flat tax on those seeking justice. The government’s hikes…will price the public out of the courts and leave small businesses saddled with debts they are due but unable to afford to recover.”

The potential increase in court fees is likely to create additional challenges for those seeking money from debtors.

Palmers offers a range of debt and insolvency services to support individuals and businesses in recovering money owed and can provide expert advice to help identify the most cost-effective options.

We understand that If you are owed money, you do not want to wants the costs of debt recovery to outweigh the financial return so we offer an appointment of up to one hour for a fixed fee of £125 + VAT to explore your options and identify the most cost-effective way forward. For more information, please contact us.