My colleague Clemmie recently highlighted concerns raised by senior UK judges about dramatic increases in court fees. The new policy says that a money claim worth more than £10,000 will be increased to 5% of the sum claimed, subject to a maximum fee of £10,000.
This made me think about the impact of the decision on companies and individuals coming to litigate in London from Russia and the CIS. Incidentally, they are among the highest percentage of foreign litigants using British courts. These companies and individuals value the quality of the legal services they receive in London. Furthermore their cases tend to be high value in nature, and as such, it seems unlikely that they will be deterred by the increase in fees.
The most senior judges in England and Wales, headed by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, have expressed fears that the increases could drive work away. “To illustrate this,” they told the government, “the fees proposed are 25 to 100 times greater than those payable in New York. A real concern will be uncertainty over future fee increases and the possible imposition of daily hearing charges putting major litigators off London, particularly as commercial cases can take years to develop.”