Small businesses: how will increase in court fees affect you?
From 9 March 2015, the government has announced that court fees will increase by up to 481%.
The net cost of operating Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service (“HMCTS”) is estimated to be circa £1 billion per annum. The government has adopted a policy of charging “enhanced fees” in order to recoup some of the expenditure.
The fees for many claims of up to £10,000 will remain unchanged, but there are to be substantial increases for court fees for claims above £10,000. Even at the lower end of the scale, the increases will still be substantial. Claims with a value of £20,000 will see a 64% increase from £610 to £1,000. At the higher end, where a claim is more than £250,000, a fee of £1,720 increases to £10,000, a staggering 481% increase.
The increases in court fees will potentially result in disastrous consequences for some smaller businesses, if they are not in a financial position to be able to pay the fees in order to initiate proceedings to recover money owed to them.
The Litigation team at Crane & Staples are able to efficiently and effectively analyse the situation and provide focused and tailored legal advice in order to limit the financial damage and stress caused. We actively encourage alternative methods of dispute resolution and are able to assist with a range of measures to avoid the stress and costs of fully blown litigation. We can assist with any of the following;
- Legal Advice - It is often useful to be able to take a step back and assess the situation knowing the strength of your legal position.
- Negotiation – We can help you negotiate on settlement without the necessity of court proceedings.
- Mediation – We can assist you in mediation to mutually agree upon a solution with your opponent.
- Arbitration – This may be a useful option without recourse to the court system where a legally binding decision can be made by an impartial arbitrator.
If you have any queries related to this article or would like to discuss your growing business and any concerns you may have then please do not hesitate to contact Michael Scutt, the Head of the Employment & Litigation department at Crane & Staples.