New Court Fees- Can you afford to go to Court?

  • Author: David Crosby
  • Posted on: 3rd March 2013
  • Posted in: Blog

In response to the Enhanced Court Fees Consultation, HMCTS (HM Courts and Tribunals Service) has announced an increase to court fees for claims over £10,000.

From March 2015 the following changes have been proposed and as matters stand, subject to any last minute (and successful) challenges being made, the following changes will come into force very shortly. The impact will be felt especially by small businesses for whom cash flow and good debt management is crucial to their continued survival and success.

Unfortunately bad debts and customers who do not pay on time, or at all, are an inevitable risk of any business. The ability to therefore take enforcement and recovery proceedings for money owed to them quickly and at a reasonable cost has always been a comforting fact but these new costs may now make pursuing legitimate debts no longer affordable or cost effective. For many firms the change may therefore be the difference between being able to continue to trade and pay bills, or instead being forced to close due to lack of cash to fund day to day business costs.   

As the figures below show, the increases are not nominal nor even vaguely in line with inflation – they are substantial and on the face of it quite disproportionate. It will mean for a very large number of claimants (the party bringing a claim) that the cost of enforcing your rights or pursuing debts owed may now be prohibitive.

Whilst the sums below are not possibly ‘modest’, disputes and especially debt claims where £10,000 or more is in dispute are actually quite common. For disputes between £1.00 - &ppound;9,999 the fee will remain unchanged, a small concession indeed, but the fee for claims from £10,000 - £199,999 will now be five per cent of the claim and at the very top end of the scale this means fees increased by on average 500%.

It is still possible that the changes will not be implemented but the odds are very much in favour that they will be, so our advice to prospective Claimants is that they should urgently consider now whether it would be sensible to issue proceedings in advance of the deadline on any debts they currently have to avoid being hit by these increases.

To discuss any aspect of debt recovery please call Crosby & Woods Solicitors and speak to one of our experienced solicitors on 01273 734 600 or email us at advice@crosbywoods.co.uk

Value of claim £

Fee now £ (paper)

New fee £

Increase in fee £

% increase

20,000

610

1,000

390

64%

40,000

610

2,000

1,390

228%

90,000

910

4,500

3,590

395%

150,000

1,315

7,500

6,185

470%

190,000

1,315

9,500

8,185

622%

200,000

1,515

10,000

8,725

576%

250,000

1,720

10,000

8,280

481%