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Reprieve for Business Owners Following Government U-turn on Court Fee Increases

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While business owners contemplating bringing legal proceedings will undoubtedly welcome the recent news that planned Court fee hikes have been abandoned, they should be aware that Court issue fees remain very high.

In July 2015, the government proposed to increase issue fees, with a revised cap of £20,000 on the existing £10,000 level - even though that had only been introduced just four months earlier.

The announcement sparked widespread concern that the move would restrict access to justice for prospective claimants - particularly individuals and SMEs. It was feared that this uplift would affect a claimant's ability to proceed, which in turn would reduce the incentive for a defendant to enter into realistic settlement discussions before any action.

After a consultation period, the Ministry of Justice has dropped the plans. However, while Court issue fees are on hold for now, they remain substantial - with a £200,000 claim requiring a fee of £10,000.

As such, it is vital that companies and individuals fully assess their claims and conduct a cost/benefit analysis at an early stage to decide a strategy to recover monies owed.

This process is often best undertaken with the assistance of a litigation and dispute resolution expert, who will have experience in pursuing and defending claims.

hlw Keeble Hawson’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution team has an enviable track-record of providing creative, cost-effective outcomes for clients both large and small - and spanning wide-ranging sectors - working with each client to resolve their dispute in the manner that best suits their needs and budget.

If you would like to discuss the implications of raised Court costs, or any broader litigation issues, please contact Andrew Broadbent at andrewbroadbent@hlwkeeblehawson.co.uk or on 0114 252 1416.

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