MOJ Confirm New Court Fees
There are both highs and lows to come as a result of the Ministry of Justice's confirmation
that it will go ahead with a series of court fee changes.
The changes, set to be introduced in April 22
present some rather large fee hikes for certain cases, whilst some fees have been removed completely. The table below gives you a rough guide as to the amount
some fees have increased.
Fee Increases From April 22nd, 2014
Winners and Losers
For civil cases that do not regard claims for money, i.e. bankruptcy and repossession there will now be a standard fee of £280
. This presents some winners and losers, as the flat fee system replaces a mixture of fees
Some fees have been removed entirely
, such as the £75 application fee for domestic violence injunctions and non-molestation orders. Almost £1.5million was spent on fees for such cases in 2012. For other, sensitive family law cases such as those involving child contact, divorce and adoption fees have remained the same
. Local authorities have received a reduction in their fee to apply to take a child in to care.
Emma Pearmaine, head of family law for Simpson Millar LLP comments:
"The changes to Legal Aid in 2013 were meant to preserve access to justice
for victims of domestic violence. It was intended this would be by preserving legal aid eligibility to cover the cost of an injunction for anyone who can prove domestic violence within the last 2 years.
This fee change is a reflection of the simple truth that, victims of domestic violence are often unable to prove that domestic violence has taken place
. They may not have reported it to the police, or their GP. Victims of domestic abuse are often suffering financially
and could not afford the court fee required to apply for court orders to protect themselves and their children."
Further proposals which are still being considered include set fees for some civil and commercial cases
as a percentage of the amount under dispute.
Fee and Risk Increase
Arif Khalfe - Commercial Disputes, Debt Recovery and Immigration Associate Solicitor for Simpson Millar LLP comments:
"Consumers will suffer as their access to justice becomes increasingly costly
, genuine claims may well never get to court.
The changes also provide a much greater risk
for anyone wishing to undertake the court process without representation. It is simply not worth the gamble
with such high sums of money. It is therefore more important than ever that they seek professional legal advice".
Arif also notes of the time issues, many people may wish to act now rather than delaying
, only to be hit with the fee increases later this month.
Earlier this year consultation took place; here the Civil Judicial Council and the Law Society both warned against these changes
, they were not alone in their fears.