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New Court Fees Bar Access To Justice

The recent rise in court fees in my opinion is not a sensible move and will definitely see less claims issued in the Courts.

The reduction of claims in the Court will of course provide the Court service with a welcome break from their understaffed and overworked system that is slowly grinding to a halt.

No doubt the Government in these times of austerity had an economist look at the situation and rub their hands together with glee at the thought of the added income the Treasury will receive from the increase.

I feel however, it is short sighted. The increase in court fees will at best, dissuade vexatious litigants but at worst (and this is the more likely outcome), it provides a real financial bar to justice.

Richard Howlett - Solicitor

Richard Howlett - Solicitor




As an example, before the Court fee increase, to issue a claim of £200,000 or more would attract a Court fee of £1720.00. This has been increased by 481% (yes, 481%) to £10,000.

The Court fees were updated on the 9th March 2015. I think a better date would have been the 1st April.

I fail to see what the justification is in the ridiculous increases. The Court system in the UK used to be seen as one of the best in the world. Now, it is one of the most expensive.

Only the very wealthy can afford to pay £10,000 upfront for a court fee (not even considering the legal costs). Where does this leave the average person who has been ripped off by a builder but cannot afford to issue proceedings?

It is a worrying trend in the legal system. Legal aid has disappeared for 99% of applicants. The Court fees have risen to figures which defy all logic. When Lord Woolf published his Access to Justice Report in 1996, and the Civil Procedure Rules were introduced, the clear objective was to improve access to justice by making legal proceedings cheaper.

The rise in Court fees has completely changed the legal landscape in the UK and I see trouble on the horizon.

Richard Howlett - Solicitor at Selachii London - 02077925649 - richard@selachii.co.uk

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