Review of Fixed Costs

This consultation is now closed.

Lord Justice Jackson has been commissioned to undertake a review of fixed recoverable costs, to be completed by 31 July 2017. This review will inform the government’s public consultation on proposed reforms, which will follow the review after consideration of the recommendations.

Lord Justice Jackson will formally commence his review in January 2017 and has invited written evidence or submissions to assist the review by Monday 23rd January 2017.

An article that was first published on the Practical Law Dispute Resolution blog on 3 April 2017 is available to READ HERE.


The terms of reference for the review include:

  • To develop proposals for extending the present civil fixed recoverable costs regime in England and Wales so as to make the costs of going to court more certain, transparent and proportionate for litigants.
  • To consider the types and areas of litigation in which such costs should be extended, and the value of claims to which such a regime should apply.

Leeds Law Society will be making a submission to Lord Justice Jackson in relation to this review and has therefore prepared a short survey in order to gather information from members.

To help you understand the proposals there is a link below to the lecture given by Lord Justice Jackson on 28 January 2016 where he set out “the grid” (see extract at the end of this email). It should be noted that the figures include allowance for counsel’s fees:

https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/fixedcostslecture-1.pdf

More information can be found about the review on the government website here:- Review of fixed recoverable costs.

Action by The Law Society of England and Wales

The (national) Law Society has launched a fixed costs web page, which provides more detail.

They have also asked for members to provide the following (by 30 December 2016) to assist them in responding to Lord Justice Jackson’s call for evidence: –

1. Providing case studies to illustrate the important role that solicitors play in ensuring access to justice and the risks of creating a system whereby ordinary citizens are left to navigate alone as a litigant in person and, in some circumstances, are deprived of the full effect of the compensation they deserve. They are specifically looking for civil litigation case studies for claims up to £250,000 where a fixed cost regime would not have been appropriate.

If you have good examples of cases that could help, please do provide as much detail as you can using the form located here. Unless you have your client’s explicit permission to pass on their identity, the cases should be anonymised so that no particular individual or organisation can be identified. If The Law Society does include your case study, they will only use it in an anonymised form and will neither identify the participants nor the source of the information.

Please feel free to submit as many case studies as you wish to fixedcosts@lawsociety.org.uk

2. Providing anonymised approved Cost Budgets for claims up to £250,000 across civil litigation. They would also be grateful if you could complete the short attached cover sheet located here with each budget submitted to give some further essential detail.

Please note that unless you have your client’s explicit permission to pass on their identity, the cases should be anonymised so that no particular individual or organisation can be identified. If The Law Society does include reference to your cost budget, they will only use it in an anonymised form and will neither identify the participants nor the source of the information.

Please feel free to submit as many budgets and cover forms as you wish to fixedcosts@lawsociety.org.uk

You should not feel obliged by this request to make any disclosure which you believe would breach any duty to your client.

Lord Justice Jackson has said:

“I have set out my present views on the principles of fixed recoverable costs in the final report of my review and in recent lectures and publications.

“I have been commissioned to undertake this review because it is integral to the overall package of reforms which I originally proposed.  Chapter 16 of my final report recommended that serious consideration should be given to extending fixed recoverable costs to the lower reaches of the multi-track after the other reforms had bedded in.

“Although the momentum is heavily for reform, the review will provide ample opportunity for comments and submissions on the form and scope that reform should take.  I am inviting the views of practitioners, users of the civil courts and any other interested parties on these points. Seminars will be held in London and elsewhere to discuss the issues.  There is a great deal to be done on the detail of the review, which will inform the Government as it prepares proposals for formal consultation in due course.”

EXTRACT FROM THE GRID

In this grid, band 1 is for claims where the sum in issue or the value of the property or rights claimed is between £25,000 and £50,000. This encompasses a large number of multi-track claims. Bands 2, 3 and 4 are for larger claims up to a ceiling of £250,000. The suggested figures in the grid include counsel, but exclude other disbursements, the costs of enforcing any order and VAT. The costs of claims above £250,000 can be controlled by means of costs management.

BAND 1 £25,000 – £50,000 BAND 2 £50,001-£100,000 BAND 3 £100,001 -£175,000 BAND 4 £175,001 -£250,000
Pre action 3250 5250 8750 12000
Issue/statements of case (add 25% if counterclaim) 1400 2250 3750 5750
CMC 950 1500 1500 1750
Disclosure 1875 3000 3500 5000
Witness statements (add 10% per witness approved by the court over 3) 1875 3000 5000 7500
Expert reports (add 10% per expert approved by the court over 2) 1400 2250 3750 5500
PTR 950 1500 1500 1750
Trial Preparation (add 5% per day for the 6th and subsequent days if trial fixed for more than 5 days) 1900 3000 5000 7500
Trial (add 5% per day for the 6th and subsequent days if trial lasts for more than 5 days) 3750 6000 11000 18000
Negotiations/ADR 1400 2250 3750 5500
TOTAL 18750 30000 47500 70250
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