Government increases court fees for money claims
On 9th March 2015, the Civil Proceedings and Family Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order 2015 came into force. It introduces substantial increases to court fees.
From now on, claimants issuing a money claim will pay the following issue fees:
- 5% of the stated value for claims between £10,000 and £200,000
- £10,000 for claims over £200,000
If the claimant doesn’t state the value of the claim in the claim form, the issue fee is £10,000.
Claims to recover a sum of less than £10,000 are unaffected by the changes.
Also, where the claimant is making a claim for interest on a specified sum of money, the amount on which the court issue fee is calculated is the total amount of the claim and the interest.
A ‘money claim’ for the purposes of the new fees is any claim in civil proceedings that seeks money as a full or partial remedy, including claims for damages.
If the claim is purely for a non-monetary remedy, the new fees will not apply. However, where a claim for injunctive relief includes a claim for damages, the fees will apply and, where the damages claimed are unlimited, the claimant will have to pay the fee of £10,000.
What this means for you
In some respects the fee increase doesn’t help either claimant or defendant. On the one hand, a claimant will no doubt be put off by the substantial fee increase in issuing a claim. For example, if a business is owed £100,000, the previous court issue fee would have been £910. Under the new regime, the court issue fee is now £5,000 (i.e. 5% of the value of the claim).
Similarly, if the defendant has no defence and simply ignores the claimant’s letter before action, the defendant risks the claimant issuing a claim against it. This will now attract a significantly higher fee, which the defendant will inevitably have to pay.
It would be wise to warn defendants in the letter before action that, due to the above changes in fees, the amount they could end up paying if they ignore the letter will significantly increase.
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