Shockingly, despite court fees having already risen drastically, they have now risen again.
An application fee in which a hearing is required will now cost an eye-watering £255.00, and even a simple consent order will now cost £100.00.
This makes a mockery of the Government, and to some extent the Judiciary’s, so-called drive to reduce the costs of litigation in order to improve access to justice. Whilst lawyers are consistently blamed for the high costs of litigation, personal injury, clinical negligence and disease work are almost always undertaken on a no-win-no-fee basis and so there are no required payments from the claimant; further, solicitors practising civil dispute litigation work recover their fees from the losing party if they succeed, and are duty-bound to advise against proceeding in circumstances in which they are not likely to succeed.
One of the main consequences will be, as already statistically proven in the case of employment tribunal matters, that genuine cases will not be pursued.
Access to justice has perhaps never been harder and the Government, not the legal profession, is squarely to blame.
By James Winterbottom, Solicitor