City lawyers have today warned that increased court fees could result in large commercial cases being dealt with in other countries instead, reducing income and profitability for the UK legal sector. City lawyers state that the lost revenue from this work would dwarf any increased income from higher court fees.
Court fees increased dramatically in March of this year, to 5% of the value of the claim for cases £10,000 and above, with a maximum court fee set at £10,000. The increase was substantial and has left many less wealthy people questioning whether they can afford to take the risk of using the court system, and solicitors wondering whether they can represent seriously injured people as those claims now come with almost unaffordable court fees.
Unbelievably, the Government’s rationale appears to be that the court system should fund itself and, staggeringly, despite the damage done, is considering increasing the maximum to an eye-watering £20,000, leaving only the wealthiest people able to access the justice system. Perhaps we should hope the Government does not believe the NHS should also begin funding itself…
Those in the profession were already aware the increases were a tremendous blow for society but now it seems they will also be damaging to the economy.