The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced plans to further increase court fees. The proposal could lead to fees doubling to £20,000 for some professional indemnity court cases and comes on top of fee increases imposed by the government in March 2015 (see Brunel News March 2015).
Court fees for money claims, which include professional indemnity cases, are currently 5% of the value of a claim, up to a maximum of £10,000. The MoJ consultation is now proposing that fees of £20,000 are charged on all claims valued over £200,000. The consultation also proposes that charges of up to £2,000 are introduced for tax tribunal cases, affecting accountants acting on behalf of their clients.
The government says that the new fees are necessary to secure sustainable funding of the courts and tribunals. “We must look to those who use the system to contribute more where they can afford to do so,” said justice minister Shailesh Vara in a letter to the parliamentary Justice Committee.
“We were worried that the cost of defending larger professional indemnity claims in court would rise when increased fees were introduced in March,” said James Burgoyne, Director, Claims & Technical, Brunel Professional Risks. “Now that fees look likely to go up again it is almost inevitable that there will be a knock-on effect on premiums if they are introduced.”
News of the consultation has been reported by the Law Society Gazette. The Law Society has published a survey, seeking lawyers’ feedback on the proposals. Accountancy Live has reported on the MOJ’s plans to introduce fees for tax tribunals.