On 16 January 2015, the Ministry of Justice announced that the cost of issuing money claims in the English courts was set to rise to 5% of the value of the claim, subject to a cap of £10,000, from as early as 1 March 2015 (see our recent Law-Now for more detail). 

The introduction of the rise in fees is now delayed until at least April 2015. In addition, on 22 February 2015, the Law Society issued a pre-action protocol letter for judicial review to challenge the government’s decision. Amongst other grounds, the Law Society claims the new fees “would be tantamount to ‘selling justice’, contrary to the principles of Magna Carta”. 

The Law Society’s president, Andrew Caplen, said “The government’s hikes – due to come in from April – will price the public out of the courts and leave small businesses saddled with debts they are due but unable to afford to recover.” 

Other signatories to the pre-action protocol letter include: 

the Bar Council, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL), Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS), Chancery Bar Association, Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) and the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR). 

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