Civil court fee increase to be reviewed

17 April, 2015

The effect on legal services from the recent increase in civil court fees will be reviewed, according to Justice Minister, Chris Grayling.

In a letter to Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls, Grayling recognised the concerns highlighted by lawyers and prominent judges and said he had asked the Ministry of Justice to monitor the situation in respect of higher-value claims. He said the department would consider whether guidance needs to be strengthened on the fee remission scheme for ‘exceptional circumstances’, following the changes.

He said that in the whole the new system should work and added that fears that people may not be able to seek justice where unfounded, due to the current fee remission scheme, which provides help for those who cannot afford to pay and who lodged a meritorious claim.

He said: “This would work alongside the current standard remission scheme and ensure that those who have meritorious claims but are genuinely unable to fund the fee through other means are not prevented from accessing the courts.”

Solicitors and members of the judiciary have been up in arms about the introduction of a five per cent levy on all claims over £10,000 that was introduced on 9 March 2015.

It is believed the new levy, which has significantly increased civil court costs, will have a disproportionately adverse effect on small and medium enterprises and litigants in person.

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