This week, new court fees took effect for issuing civil claims valued at over £10,000, replacing the previous fee system with a fee calculated at 5% of the stated value of the claim.  The new system also caps such issue fees at a maximum of £10,000.

The new fees apply to any claim, or counterclaim, for money or damages.  The fees for certain other types of claim such as those for possession of land or judicial review, where no money or damages are sought, remain unchanged.  The rules for fee remission, dependent on an individual’s disposable capital and gross income, are also unchanged.

It has been observed that the changes mean that a fee for issuing a claim worth £190,000 has increased from £1,315 to £9,500, an increase of 622%.  The Law Society has written to the Ministry of Justice expressing its concern at the potential impact on access to justice, and putting the Government on notice of a potential judicial review challenge to the decision to implement the new system.  It contends that the Government has breached various public law principles in putting the fee increases into effect.