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Court fees consultation to increase civil claims costs

4 December 2013

A consultation on court fees proposes that parties to some civil and commercial claims could subsidise other cases, and pay for investment in the court system.

Many may be disappointed to see proposals to add cost elsewhere in civil litigation

Family work in the civil courts costs more than the fees generated, while other areas such as injury and commercial claims have been broadly self funding. By grouping these together the Government seeks to achieve a self-funding system, with increases in fees for many civil claims.

Further proposals include enhanced fees for money claims, commercial claims, hearings and divorce under which issue fees would be 5% of the value in many claims (save where that would be less than existing fees).

After the promise of savings under recent costs reforms, many may be disappointed to see proposals to add cost elsewhere in civil litigation. With mention of looser financial constraint and freedom to raise funds to develop services, this may also prove a precursor to inward investment or privatisation plans.

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