Court fees hike: barrier to justice for SMEs?

Dispute Resolution

Family - 1 minute read

Let’s say you’re a small or medium sized business. You do work, or deliver goods, and raise a bill for £100k, but it’s not paid. The fact that it is not paid impacts on your cash flow (with all the headache that goes along with that). Added to this, you don’t particularly want to add legal costs into the mix, especially where its black and white as far as you’re concerned; it’s an unpaid invoice. So, you decide to issue a claim yourself.

But whereas back in 2013, you will have paid a court fee to start the process of £685 (up to £100k), as of 9 March 2015 you are hit with a fee of £5,000. That is an increase from the 2013 fee of 730%.

It will be very interesting to see if data emerges as to the amount of claims brought by SMEs post 9 March.

Senior judges have expressed deep concerns about dramatic increases of up to 600% in court fees.