The Scottish Government, having announced its intention to move towards full costs recovery of court fees from court users, has issued a consultation on fee increases in the Scottish Courts. However the proposed rises are unlikely to attract the same controversy as forthcoming fee increases south of the border. In England and Wales, the cost of issuing claims will shortly rise to 5% of the value of the claim, subject to a cap of £10,000 (a more than five-fold increase - see our recent Law-Now for more detail). Court users in England and Wales should watch this space though, as the Law Society has issued a pre-action protocol letter for judicial review to challenge the fee increases there.
Fee Proposals contained in the consultation paper
Existing fees will rise 4% from September 2015, and 2% from April 2016 and April 2017. The additional 2% rise in September 2015 is to assist with ongoing civil court reforms. The current cost of raising an action in the Court of Session is £202.
In addition, tables of proposed fees have been produced for the new Sheriff Appeal Court and National Personal Injury Court.
The consultation will run until 15 May 2015 and, subject to parliamentary approval, the proposals will be introduced from September 2015.