Under most construction contracts, the contractor takes on the ground conditions risk. However, a recent case has demonstrated that the risk can fall on the employer.
General 10% uplift to civil court fees
Fees will rise across the range of civil proceedings, including enforcement proceedings and also for civil business in magistrates courts.
Notable increases include:
- Possession/Injunction issue fees (described as “any other remedy (County Court)” from £280 to £308 (a PCOL fee increase is not mentioned))
- Issue of a warrant of possession will increase from £110 to £121.
The 10% uplift will also apply:
- in the Court of Appeal – for applications and permissions to appeal, filing appeal questionnaires and filing an application notice or respondent’s notice;
- to judicial review – for permission to apply, permission to proceed and requests to reconsider a decision on permission; and
- in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) – for various applications and hearings.
General application fees in the County Court
There is also a notable increase to the fees for general applications in the County Court. The fee for an on-notice application (e.g. for a committal application) is to rise from £155 to £255 and the fee for a without-notice/by consent application rises from £50 to £100. Although these increases are not included in the Revised Schedule of Fees at Annex B to the Government’s Consultation Response, we have sought clarification from the MOJ, which has confirmed the increases.
The proposal to increase the maximum fee for money claims to £20,000 has not been implemented. Therefore the maximum fee will, for the time being, remain capped at £10,000. It is intended that this proposal will be reviewed in the future, together with the proposal to increase the disposable capital test threshold in the fee remissions scheme (for individuals).
First Tier Tribunal (FTT) (Property Chamber)
The proposals to introduce a single fee structure to replace the existing graduated system will be implemented. To issue proceedings in the FTT (Property Chamber) will now be a flat fee of £100, and a fee of £200 will apply to hearings. In the short term these fee rates will apply to leasehold enfranchisement cases, (with a plan for graduated fee structures to be consulted upon in 2016).
Preparing for change
Whilst in isolation the changes are not extreme and the increase to the possession issue fee much less than proposed, they will obviously still impact on budgets.
There is no related improvement programme in the Court service or timescales.
Date being implemented?
We do not yet know when these changes will be brought into effect. The MOJ advises that the statutory instruments will be implemented “as soon as Parliamentary time allows”. We expect them to be implemented imminently and certainly before the new financial year however.
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