SMEs advised of significant increase in court fees for money claims

Local business owners will be faced with hefty new court fees for bringing money claims to court from April, making England and Wales one of the most expensive jurisdictions in the world advises commercial litigation specialists at Linder Myers Solicitors.

Coming into effect from April a claim valued at £25,000 for example, which previously required a fee of £610 to be paid, will now incur a heavily inflated charge of £1,250 while charges for claims worth £95,000 will jump from £910 to £4,750.

Peter Kaye, head of commercial litigation at Linder Myers Solicitors said: “The Treasury has said it intends to raise £120m in additional court fees as a result of these increases, hitting SMEs hard.

"The rise in charges will make England and Wales one of the most expensive jurisdictions in the world to bring civil claims and our concern is that this will limit access to justice for many small to medium sized businesses.

“The vast majority of money claims brought by SMEs fall within the £25,000 - £75,000 bracket with the new charges taking more than a lion’s share of this. Our advice to local business owners is to try to issue claims before 31st March where possible. If not, specialist legal advice is recommended as trying to bring a claim without legal representation could turn out to be more costly in the long run. “There are alternatives to resolving disputes to help businesses avoid costly court proceedings including skilled negotiations between parties, mediation or arbitration.”