The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has proposed an increase in the maximum fee for money claims from £10,000 to at least £20,000.
Across two documents, one a response to an ongoing consultation on court free increases, the other a new consultation, the MoJ proposes pushing ahead with current and new plans to ensure the courts system is properly funded.
These changes come off the back of fee hikes back in March this year.
The ministry said the change to £20,000 from £10,000 will only affect the highest value claims, worth £200,000 or more.
The MoJ added that there are 1.2 million money claims each year, of which 5,000 will be affected. The consultation also states that this 5,000 figure is 0.4 per cent of the total, or one in every 240 money claims.
Fees are currently payable on five per cent of the value of a claim up to a maximum fee of £10,000.
Announcing the proposals, courts minister Shailesh Vara said: “Many of the claims brought for higher values will involve large multi-national organisations or wealthy individuals, and we believe it is right to ask them to contribute more.”
There are wide-reaching changes across the two consultations, including 10 per cent fee increases for various civil proceedings
There are also confirmations to go ahead with proposals announced earlier this year. One confirmation is that fees for issuing a possession claim in the county court will rise from £280 to £355.
The minister said his team’s analysis of available evidence suggests that this increase will “not deter anyone who would otherwise have taken their claim to court”.
Fees for general applications in civil proceedings will increase from £50 to £100 for an application by consent, and from £155 to £255 for a contested application.
Vara added: “This government was elected to continue to fix the economy, by reducing public spending, eliminating the deficit and reducing national debt. The courts and tribunals must continue to play their part in this national effort.
“There is, however, only so much that can be delivered through efficiency measures alone. That’s why we have to look again at court fees.”
He explained that despite the fees already introduced, the courts and tribunals service still costs £1bn a year more to run than it receives in income.
Increase the fees for general applications in civil proceedings by £50, from £50 to £100, for an application by consent and by £100, from £155 to £255, for a contested application.
By Marcel LeGouais