By Sean Linley, Costs Draftsman 
Despite significant opposition in a recent consultation, the Ministry of Justice has now enacted over 130 court fee increases, which take effect from 30 September 2021.  
The Ministry of Justice rejected critcisms of the proposed increases stating that "[court] fees are a secondary consideration in the decision to litigate, with the prospects of success and the likelihood of success being primary considerations. Fees represent a small proportion of the overall costs of litigation".  
The updated EX50 is available online here
Some of the key increases for those involved in civil litigation include: 
A. General without notice application fee increase from £255.00 to £275.00.  
B. Without notice application fee increase from £100.00 to £108.00. 
C. Multi-Track Hearing Fee up from £1,090.00 to £1,175.00.  
Despite increases to the Multi-Track hearing fee, the Fast Track hearing fee remains the same at £545.00.  
There is a more detailed staging of Hearing Fees for Small-Claims which are detailed below: 
Small Claim Track where the amount claimed is: 
up to £300 - £27 
between £300.01 and £500 - £59 
between £500.01 and £1,000 - £85 
between £1,000.01 and £1,500 - £123 
between £1,500.01 and £3,000 - £181 
more than £3,000 - £346 
There is no longer a discount for claims issued at the Money Claim Online & County Court Business Centre, these were traditionally cheaper but increased to the same as cases issued in the County Court Money Claims Centre and paper issued claims.  
With respect to costs litigation, there are further increases across the board.  
For those bringing Part 8 costs only claims the fee increases from £55.00 to £59.00. The fee for a Default Costs Certificate rises from £66.00 to £71.00. 
The fees for requesting assessment (determination) of costs have also increased.  
The new fees are as follows: 
up to £15,000 - £398 (previously £369.00) 
£15,000.01 – £50,000 - £801 (previously £743.00) 
£50,000.01 – £100,000 - £1,192 (previously £1,106.00) 
£100,000.01 – £150,000 - £1,595 (previously £1,480.00) 
£150,000.01 – £200,000 - £1,992 (previously £1,848.00) 
£200,000.01 – £300,000 - £2,988 (previously £2,772.00) 
£300,000.01 – £500,000 - £4,980 (previously £4,620.00) 
more than £500,000 - £6,640 (previously £6,160.00) 
Other changes include increases to the fee for an appeal against a decision made in detailed assessment proceedings (£231.00 to £249.00), fee to set aside Default Costs Certificate (£121.00 to £130.00). 
Whilst there are court fee rises across the board, the Ministry of Justice have also increased the threshold for Help with Fees (fee remissions). The threshold for s single person's monthly before-tax income (who are not in receipt of benefits) increases from £5,085.00 to £5,170.00. In addition the child and couple premiums increase, these sums increase the income cap. For each child £265.00 can be added (up from £245.00) whilst the couple's premium increases from £160.00 to £175.00 
What are the practical implications? 
Notwithstanding concerns around the individual impacts of the increase of Court Fees around access to justice, there are practical implications which must be considered: 
1. The increased Court Fees should be reflected in Costs Budget, particularly where an existing Costs Budget is to be varied. 
2. The need for contemparenous evidence as to fee remission investigations remains of vital importance (see our previous article for more information). 
3. N252s (Notices of Commencement) for formal assessment proceedings MUST include the increased Court Fees.  
There will be a question as to whether an indvidual court fee rise will cause a budget to be over-spent, though this would have to be the only reason for any over-spend. Prime facie, it appears that it would present itself as a 'good reason' to depart from an approved or agreed Costs Budget, though in our view such a scenario is extremely unlikely. 
The full details of the Court Fees changes can be found detailed in The Court Fees (Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2021.  
Should you have any queries relating to the changes in Court Fees or simply want a second opinion, please get in touch for a no-obligation chat with our friendly team - email or call 01482 534567.  
Tagged as: Court Fees
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