In a previous blog post we asked our readers whether the increase in court fees for money claims over £10,000 to 5% of the value of the claim (capped at £10,000 for claims of £200,000 and over) would put you off issuing a claim.
83% of those polled said the increase in court fees would put them off. But should you let it?
If you are owed more than £10,000 the general rule is that if you are successful in your claim then your costs will be paid by the other party. Your costs include the court fee you have paid. So it’s a timing issue – providing you win in the end this increase is recoverable.
Whilst court proceedings can be lengthy, sometimes the issue of proceedings will in itself be enough to make the other party pay up. Sometimes, the other party fail to respond at all. When this happens you can apply for judgment and then enforce the judgment straight away. Depending on the circumstances you might also be able to apply for summary judgment. This is a ‘fast track’ procedure available if the defendant has no realistic prospect of successfully defending the claim and there is no other compelling reason why the case should be disposed of at trial.
So whilst the increase in court fees is an unwelcome change for businesses and is particularly unhelpful to those businesses already experiencing difficulties with their cash flow, don’t forget that you may still be able to get paid far quicker than if you do nothing at all and the increased court fee will be paid by the other party when you win. So don’t let the increased court fee itself put you off issuing a claim for monies you are owed. Providing the defendant is good for the money you will get it back in the end.
The Law Society has decided against pursuing its judicial review claim against the increase but will continue to monitor the impact of the fee increases on individuals and businesses trying to seek redress through the civil courts, as well as obtaining examples and case studies demonstrating the impact on access to justice.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.