The cost of court proceedings
Taking someone to court has always been expensive business. Regardless of the type of action, the costs consequences of taking someone to court has always been an obstacle that sometimes outweighs an otherwise successful claim.
As of 6 April 2015 reform within the Courts resulted in another increase in court fees as published within the EX50 form. This means for the vast majority of claims, being those between £10,000 and £200,000, issuing a claim will attract a 5% court fee simply to get a claim issued. This is a massive increase in comparison to the previous system which had set fixed fees depending on the value of the claim. Although some commentators suggest that the increase is justifiable because the court fee is added on to the claim amount itself, as we know getting judgement does not always guarantee payment. Recovery is in itself a whole other process which sometimes does not reap the rewards that it should.
So what can you do to ensure that you can recover your claim from the other party? Unfortunately there is only so much you can do to protect yourself in the event that you are unable to secure a debt from somebody. To help protect yourself from this, you should always carry out proper due diligence against someone who owes you money to establish whether or not they have any money and/or assets which can be used to secure your claim from. It also may be worth considering other methods of recovering a debt such as mediation, arbitration or simple negotiating with the other party before proceedings are issued.
Although the increased court fees have only been in place for 10 weeks or so, we have already seen the effect this has had on both individuals and companies who were once ready to issue court proceedings without much thought given to the court fee their action would attract. It is likely that these court fees are here to stay, thus highlighting the importance of recoverability more than ever.