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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
It has recently been proposed by the Ministry of Justice that Court fees could rise to £20,000.00. Personal injury and clinical negligence claims would be excluded from the higher cap but fees for general applications will increase from £50.00 to £100.00 for applications by consent and from £100.00 to £255.00 for a contested application.
These increases will (it is proposed) raise an estimated additional £48million income a year for the Court. This is at a time when it is likely that as many as 20 Courts and Tribunals will be closed due to cuts. Many others have closed since 2010. These increases also have to be viewed against the recent increases which took place in April of this year for money claims which included injury and clinical negligence and claims which saw an increase in Court fees by as much as 600% with the issue fee being calculated as 5% of the value of the claim up to a maximum fee of £10,000.00.
It seems to me wrong that the Justice system becoming a profit making entity and as a result of which has imposed these unjustifiable Court fee rises. These increases are bound to affect people’s access to the Courts which will only in future be available to the wealthiest in Society. Is the Government aiming to make the Justice system ready for privatisation in the future? Will McDonalds and Burger Bars soon be flourishing within the once hallowed walls of the Courts? Time will tell.
Given the Government’s previous track record in attacking injury lawyers, it is perhaps surprising that the latest Court fee increases have not applied to injury or clinical negligence claims. This could be due to the fact that upon the successful conclusion of any injury claim, the Defendant insurer will have to pay the Claimant’s legal costs and disbursements. These disbursements will include the Court fee and the Government’s insurance friends are probably concerned at having to dig into their pockets to fund these at the conclusion of a claim.
If you would like to discuss a Personal Injury claim with our team, please contact us today.