Court fees to increase sixfold

In spite of near-universal opposition (including this firm’s), proposals to increase court fees are to proceed – on 5 March 2015, the House of Lords rubber-stamped the Government’s proposed fee increases and it seems that, barring a minor miracle, the increase will kick in on Monday 9 March 2015.

Under the new rules claims worth £10,000 or more will attract a court fee of 5% of their value.  (There will be a cap so that the maximum fee payable is £10,000.)  To take an example at the higher end of the scale, a claim for £190,000 will cost £9,500 to issue; that is an increase of 622% on the present cost – £1,315.  This is a staggering rise. The potential implications are wide-ranging and worrying.

The Law Society is formally challenging the lawfulness of the fee increase; it has taken the first steps in Judicial Review proceedings by sending a formal letter before claim to the Government.  CLC will monitor the situation closely.  We hope sincerely that the Law Society’s challenge is successful.

Seamus Smyth (Partner and Head of Department) and Jonathan Fozard (Solicitor) are in the Litigation Team at Carter Lemon Camerons. Seamus and Jonathan have written a more detailed article about the potential impact of the increase in court fees which appeared in the Solicitor’s Journal on 10 February 2015 (link to *article).

If you would like more information about the court fee increase or if you need any assistance with a legal dispute then please contact Seamus (seamussmyth@cartercamerons.com / 0207 406 1050), Jonathan (jonathanfozard@cartercamerons.com / 0207 4061042) or any other member of the Litigation Team at Carter Lemon Camerons.

*At the time of writing the Solicitors Journal article the fee increase had been set to take effect on 1 March 2015. The fee increase ultimately took effect on 9 March 2015.