Changes to Court Fees in March 2017
Mark Banham, Associate in the Property Litigation team, summarises the changes to court fees which come into force next month and the consequences of those changes.
The Civil Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order 2016 was made on 6 December 2016 and comes into force on 6 March 2017.
The most significant changes to the current fee regime are as follows:
1. Trial fees will no longer be refundable if the matter settles or is discontinued;
2. Trial fees will now generally need to be paid at least 28 days before the trial date;
3. A change to the procedure for a claim (or counterclaim) to be struck out if the trial fee is not paid on time (although a consequential amendment to the Civil Procedure Rules will also be required to effect this); and
4. Changes to the trial fee payable in the small claims track depending on the sum being claimed.
The changes will not affect claims where the Court has notified the parties of a trial date or start of a trial period prior to 6 March 2017 and will only affect cases with a trial date or trial period starting on or after that date.
Consequences of the Changes:
- Timely payment of trial fees by claimants will become essential as a case may be struck out automatically for non payment otherwise;
- Defendants may be able to benefit from the failure of a claimant to pay the trial fee on time by securing a strike out of the claimant’s case.