Access to justice… Yours for just 10k!

Well it looks like the court fees amendment got through.
Now if you have a case for more than 10k you’ll have to find 5% to issue it.
So in broad terms, even before you think about enforcing your rights over, say, a small business dispute that’s worth 50,000 you need to find 2,500 before even thinking about lawyers fees. Previously that would have been only 910!
Now compared to lawyers fees this may not look so bad, but when you think that you can get a lot of legal work for that example of 2,500 – that’s 10 hours of an experienced lawyer anywhere but central London and enough to bring a lot of disputes to a head.
This also avoids the cash flow assistance that conditional fees offer. Most good cases can get such terms since it is in a lawyer’s interests to take on and win these cases. In a commercial sphere this includes no win, low fee as well as no win, no fee options and can often be insurance and/or loan supported. These fees however make such cover or lending me expensive and that ATE is still unrecoverable!
This measure discourages small business who would otherwise be able to defend or enforce their rights from doing so unless it is a situation that would run the business – and maybe not even then.
I cannot strongly enough recommend signing the petition organised by the Law Society’s Ana Lelliott at to seek revocation of this obstacle to justice.