The report provides that the fast track limit should remain at £25,000 but a new grid of fixed recoverable costs is proposed for fast track claims. The new grid has the same stages as the current fast track personal injury grid set out in CPR, r. 45.29 but has four bands of complexity.
It is proposed that the pre-action protocols should be amended to require the parties to agree, prior to issue, the band of complexity, which will depend upon the individual case rather than the type of case.
However, Jackson LJ has noted that EL and PL claims where liability is disputed could fall into band 3 in terms of complexity although it will ultimately be the judge upon allocation that will decide both the court track and the complexity band.
In respect of the costs of interim applications, Jackson LJ notes that there are fixed costs for these applications under CPR, r. 45.29H. No proposals are made to increase these figures for EL and PL claims but there are proposals to increase the costs of interim applications for NIHL cases.
The report also proposes that a new ‘intermediate’ track is introduced for most civil claims, including personal injury claims, valued between £25,000 and £100,000.
In respect of EL and PL claims, cases which are valued at more than £25,000 but no more than £100,000 in value would fall into the proposed ‘intermediate‘ track. Table 7.1 in the report notes the proposed grid for fixed recoverable costs for ‘intermediate’ track cases. Jackson LJ recommends that these costs are reviewed every three years.
It should be noted that the figures are cumulative so the figure in the box for the relevant stage is the amount that will be received, i.e. the figures from the previous stages will not be added up.
It is proposed that damages claims, to include EL and PL claims, will fall into the ‘intermediate’ track if certain proposed criteria are satisfied.
The criteria referred to for allocating a case to the intermediate track are:
(i) The case is not suitable for the small claims track or the fast track.
(ii) The claim is for debt, damages or other monetary relief, no higher than £100,000 in value.
(iii) If the case is managed proportionately, the trial will not last longer than three days.
(iv) There will be no more than two expert witnesses giving oral evidence for each party.
(v) The case can be justly and proportionately managed under the proposed procedure for these cases.
(vi) There are no wider factors, such as reputation or public importance, which make the case inappropriate for the intermediate track.
(vii) The claim is not for mesothelioma or other asbestos related lung diseases.
(viii) Alternatively, even if none of the criteria are met, there are particular reasons to assign the case to the intermediate track. Examples provided, include circumstances where the order may be necessary to promote access to justice and where there are other reasons for limiting recoverable costs. It is also noted that the intermediate track will seldom be suitable for some multi-party cases, child sexual abuse claims, intellectual property claims and claims against the police.
It is proposed that CPR Part 8 claims (stage 3 claims which have proceeded through the portal) should be excluded from the proposed fixed costs regime. Also, it is stated that standard disclosure will continue to be the normal order for personal injury claims.
Further, the report recommends that fixed costs should apply to holiday sickness claims. Jackson LJ specifically notes that these types of claims “...are growing in frequency and are the subject of much discussion in the media”. He has recommended that the fixed recoverable costs for holiday sickness claims should be the same as for RTA personal injury cases.
The proposed tables for fixed recoverable fast track and intermediate track costs are noted below.
Above is very much a brief summary of key parts of a very detailed report. The full report can be accessed here.
FRC grid for fast-track claims