Daniel Levy
Estates Gazette (EGI)
02 March 2015

Court fees out of proportion

The proposed rise in court fees is a cause for concern to owners and occupiers alike

Litigation is about to get much more expensive. In a move that some have already dubbed the “High Court poll tax”, ministers have announced that court fees are set to rise from April 2015 by as much at 600% per claim. Property disputes will be especially affected by this hike.

What is intended?

A draft statutory instrument – the Civil Proceedings and Family Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order 2015 – laid before Parliament and expected to come into effect in April 2015 sets out a new regime for the fees payable at the start of proceedings.

Claims up to £10,000 are unaffected, with fees ranging from £35 to £455 depending on the value. It is then that the rocket boosters are fired up. For any money claim worth more than £10,000, a 5% fee will be payable when the claim is issued, subject to a maximum of £10,000. This maximum fee will also apply when the monetary amount claimed is unknown. The fees have no correlation to the court resource used, and are to be paid when a case is commenced, even though most cases settle long before trial.

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