Fixed Recoverable Costs – Extension to the Regime
30 August 2023
There are big changes coming into force regarding the fixed costs regime on 1st October 2023. There are currently three tracks in Court proceedings in the Courts of England and Wales. These are – the small claims track for matters with a value of up to £10,000.00. The fast track for matters with a value of up to £25,000.00 and the multi-track for matters over £25,000.00.
Fixed costs set down what a successful party can recover in litigation. Currently fixed costs apply to the small claims track and parties involved in fast track-matters and multi-track matters are not limited by fixed costs.
The New Regime:
The new regime has been developed to create greater certainty and transparency with regards to costs in litigation. The new fixed costs regime will be extending to include fast track claims, and also claims that will fall within a newly established intermediate track.
The new intermediate track shall cover simpler claims of value between £25,000.00- £100,000.00. It is envisaged that claims that fall into this track will be listed for a trial of three days or less, and where oral evidence of two experts is given at trial.
There is still the possibility of claims with a value of under £100,000.00, which are considered complex in nature still being allocated to the multi-track. The new fixed costs regime does not apply to the multi-track. There is emphasis on the fact that Judges will maintain discretion with regards to what track a matter falls into.
What matters are caught under the New Regime?
Whether a matter falls under the new regime will depend on the type of claim it is, the value of the claim, and the complexity of such. For personal injury claims, only claims in which the cause of action happens on or after 1st October 2023 will be covered by the regime. In the case of disease claims, the new regime will only apply if a letter before action is not sent in advance of 1st October 2023. Clinical negligence claims will be subject to a different scheme. There are also other exceptions including housing cases.
The new fixed costs regime will introduce complexity bands. These complexity bands stipulate the level of fixed recoverable costs applicable which will apply to a case. Tables have been included within a new Practice Direction 45 which details the different complexity bands and the effect of such.
Effect of changes:
It is important to understand the changes that the new fixed costs regime will make. It is likely that we will now see a surge in the issuing of Court proceedings with people wanting to try and avoid being caught by the new regime.
For more information:
For more information on the new fixed costs regime, please find a link below to guidance on the new rules
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.