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Further hike in court fees proposed

Issue fees for claims worth over £10,000 are set to rise following the latest consultation on so-called “enhanced” court fees.

On 16 January 2015 the Government published its response to its consultation, announcing that the fee to issue a claim to recover more than £10,000 will rise to 5% of the value of the claim, up to a limit of £10,000. The Government is also consulting on raising the price of making an application to the Court during proceedings. The Ministry of Justice intends to charge more to litigants than their case costs the Court service, to raise revenue, so litigants with high value claims will be subsidising others.

In its response to the consultation, the Government suggests that it has carried out some research which shows that litigants will not be put off by increased Court fees and the number of claims issued is unlikely to be affected.

However, I think that in times of austerity the price is foremost in a person’s mind when they buy a service and that litigants may well consider other forms of dispute resolution if there are cheaper alternatives, such as mediation. Such a dramatic increase in upfront costs may well affect the appetite of individuals and small to medium-sized business to litigate. I understand that certain organisations are considering challenging the proposals, so the government may row back from the proposals. If they are introduced as planned then we could see a reduction in claims issued, interim applications made, and a further increase in the numbers of self-represented litigants, as parties seek to cut legal costs elsewhere in order to meet the cost of the new fees. In a high value claim, a mediator’s fee is likely to be lower than the Court issue fee.

It is already a fact that over 90% of cases settle before trial, so why spend money on litigating and case management, preparing for a trial that is unlikely to happen, when an early mediation can save all those costs and stress?

 

 

New Debt Protocol Proposes Mediation

The Civil Procedure Rule Committee (CPRC) has produced a draft debt protocol. The CPRC hopes to introduce the new Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (“the Debt Protocol”), and a revised Pre-action PD in April 2015. The draft protocol, which applies to any business (including a sole trader) claiming payment of a debt from an individualContinue Reading

Court fees hike increases cost of litigation

A consultation paper issued by the Ministry of Justice titled Fees in the High Court and Court of Appeal, closed on 7 February 2012. Government wants to abolish subsidy for litigation In essence, the Government has decided that the present method of Court funding whereby approximately 80% of the cost is borne by the partiesContinue Reading

Automatic referral to mediation to be introduced.

The Ministry of Justice has made its much anticipated response to the Solving disputes in the County Court consultation with the emphasis very much on streamlining and simplifying legal dispute procedures. Mediation is at the forefront. It is anticipated around 80,000 more small claims track cases will automatically be referred to mediation. The small claimsContinue Reading

What survey reveals about finding suitable mediator

At Expedite Resolution we are committed to providing services that the market wants. So we commissioned market researches to ask solicitors, barristers, insurers, loss adjusters, brokers and corporates to tell us what they liked and loathed about the current mediation service offerings. 70% use mediation and achieved savings The survey showed that a high proportionContinue Reading

Welcome to Expedite Resolution

We are a new mediation and dispute resolution service offering a flexible, fresh and non-formulaic approach to quicker and more cost effective claims settlement. Expedite Resolution has 12 highly independent, specialist mediators and arbitrators from the claims and insurance sectors working with individuals and organisations to settle difficult claims more quickly. Market problems identifying suitableContinue Reading