Dramatic increase in court fees highlights value of mediation

Dramatic increase in court fees highlights value of mediation

15th March 2015

Dramatic increase in court fees highlights value of mediation

This week (9th March 2015) court fees for claims in excess of £10,000 dramatically increased to 5% of the amount claimed. For claims with a value of over £200,000 and for claims for an unspecified sum, the court fee is now an eye-watering £10,000!

Previously fees were calculated on a sliding scale (last increased only in April 2014) with the fee for claims of £10,000 at £455 rising in increments to a maximum of £1,920 for claims in excess of £300,000 and for those for an unspecified sum.

An increase in excess of 600% (for anyone chasing a debt of £200,000 or more) and the possibility that the damages received may be disproportionate to the court fee (for those chasing an unspecified debt) may well reduce the numbers of claimants willing to go to court – and for those that do will certainly increase both the risk and costs of bringing court proceedings, whether or not the court fees are eventually recovered from the defendants.

There is increasing judicial encouragement for parties to try to resolve disputes outside of the court process and these fee increases provide an additional reason to consider mediation before issuing a claim.

We believe that mediation already provides an attractive, efficient and very cost effective method for resolving disputes at any stage. This dramatic increase in court fees make it even more so.