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Court fees to rise to £10,000

Just when we thought that the Government couldn't do anything more to damage access to justice, Chris Grayling announces huge rises (up to 622%) in court fees for all money claims. These increases will see claims for £200,000 and above incur a £10,000 fee to issue the claim form.

Cue the rise in disbursement funding companies.

Even a fee for a modest injuries at the top of the fast track will incur a fee of £1,250. (See the CJC's response, below, for a full table of the new fees)

I would like to hear from practitioners as to how this will affect:

a) your client's ability to fund a money claim (any type not just PI)
b) your firm's ability to offer litigation services (practical examples would be useful)

I realise people will be angry but I will need practical data and concerns that I can present to the Law Society so that we can work out a way forward. It is never good enough for us to say that we are against something without explaining consequences. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Please contact me with your thoughts and concerns. Please email me directly and copy in The Law Society  Please use Court Fees as your subject so that I can ensure your email is acknowledged.

Chris Grayling's statement to parliament can be seen HERE
The Civil Justice Council's response is HERE
The reaction of the senior judiciary is HERE
The Law Society's statement is HERE


Judgment in Paul Chadwick v Estate of Lisa Clay Dec'd

The claimant was convicted of manslaughter by diminished responsibility following the brutal killing of his partner, Lisa Clay, and their 6 year old son, Joseph. The claimant sought relief under s2(2) Forfeiture Act 1982 to enable him to inherit Lisa Clay's estate.

His Honour Judge Pelling QC, sitting in the High Court at Manchester on 24th September 2014 refused the claimant's claim finding that the justice of the case did not require the effect of the rule to be modified. 

The full text of the judgment can be found here: 


Killer's claim rejected

Once in a while cases come along that remind me why I came into this job. This case (reported by the BBC and others below) was harrowing but HHJ Pelling QC gave an impeccable judgment (to follow). My colleagues and I are greatly relieved that our clients were successful. 

Here are the links to the story:


Cases bulletin: July 2014 - relief from sanctions appeals

On Friday, 5 July 2014, the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the cases of DentonDecadent Vapours and Utilise. It also provided further guidance on the operation of CPR 3.9 and the correct approach to relief from sanctions applications. The Law Society's Civil Justice Section current bulletin discusses the implications of these three important appeal hearings.


CCMCC Salford user meeting

Today is the meeting of the CCMCC, Salford Business Centre, Usergroup. Please let me know if you have any issues that you would like me to raise.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

My slides from Civil Justice Section conference

As promised to delegates at the Law Society's Civil Justice Section, here is a link to the slides from my presentation:

New court forms - April 2014

The recent changes to the CPR have caused a number of the court forms to require amendment. To see a list of the updated forms or download a zip file of all of the forms CLICK HERE

Sanctions: Can I Avoid the Bloodbath?

This is one of many great topics to be discussed at a conference at The Law Society on 30th April 2014 at 3.30pm - 6pm.

There are some excellent speakers including a leader on civil litigation updates, Gordon Exall (the sanctions session will be led by him), as well as leading speakers on costs budgeting and from HMCTS.

The conference is free to Civil Justice Section members.

For more details CLICK HERE

70th, 71st and 72nd updates to CPR published

Three updates to the CPR have recently been made (72nd probably the most important to look at)

70th Update: Introduces changes to implement s.64 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, which requires all enforcement agents to be certificated unless exempt under s.63.

71st Update: Introduces changes to establish a Planning Court specialist list, overseen by a judge nominated by the President of the Queen’s Bench Division. Planning cases of particular significance will be listed and heard in line with timescales set down in the attached Practice Direction.

Please note that there is an error in Statutory Instrument SI 2014 No.610 (Planning Court). The words “considers appropriate” as shown in red in the extract from the Statutory Instrument shown below have been omitted from the published Statutory Instrument. This is omission is being rectified by a correction slip.
54.21.—(1) This Section applies to Planning Court claims.
(2) In this Section, “Planning Court claim” means a judicial review or statutory challenge which —
(a) involves any of the following matters —
(i) planning permission, other development consents, the enforcement of planning control and the enforcement of other statutory schemes;
(ii) applications under the Transport and Works Act 1992;
(iii) wayleaves;
(iv) highways and other rights of way;
(v) compulsory purchase orders;
(vi) village greens;
(vii) European Union environmental legislation and domestic transpositions, including assessments for development consents, habitats, waste and pollution control;
(viii) national, regional or other planning policy documents, statutory or otherwise; or
(ix) any other matter the judge appointed under rule 54.22(2) considers appropriate; and
(b) has been issued or transferred to the Planning Court.
(Part 30 (Transfer) applies to transfers to and from the Planning Court.)”

Full details and links to the Statutory Instruments and PD Making Documents for the 70th and 71st Updates are on the CPR website at: 

72nd Update:

(1) Sets out amendments to provide clarification of the rules introduced in 2013 which extended the courts’ management powers in respect of costs. Cases to which cost management will apply and costs budgets are to be filed is more clearly defined and limited to Part 7 Multi-track claims except where the claim is valued at £10m or more. In other types of case the court will have the discretion to implement costs management and parties will be able to apply for costs management if it is deemed appropriate by the circumstances of the individual case.

(2) Makes amendments to provide that certain permission applications in relation to committal for interference with the due administration of justice or in relation to committal for making a false statement of truth or disclosure statement can be made to any single judge of the High Court rather than only to a single judge of the Queen’s Bench Division.

(3) Makes amendments consequential on changes to the CPR in relation to enforcement and the implementation of the single County Court on the coming into force of provisions in Section 17 of, and Schedule 9 to, the Crime and Courts Act.

The Statutory Instrument for 72nd Update can be seen at The PD Making Document has not as yet been finalised but will be published in due course.

Law Society Council elections 2014: shape the future of the profession

We are looking for energetic and enthusiastic solicitors from all types of practice to stand as candidates for the Law Society Council. Put yourself forward now and shape the future of your own profession.
Fifteen elections are taking place for geographical constituencies as a number of current Council members' terms come to an end at this year's annual general meeting (AGM).
The deadline for nominations is 17:00 on Friday 25 April 2014.
Those candidates successfully elected will take office for a term of four years at the end of the AGM on 10 July 2014.