Can I Get My Court Fee Refunded Or Repaid?
Posted on 31st March 2020
Nobody wants to have a dispute with another person or company, but life throws unexpected events at us from time to time and there are two choice when it comes to money related disputes in particular.
Firstly, you can ask the person to repay you or make a complaint to a company about it and if this get you nowhere, you can chalk it up to life experience and walk away. Secondly, if you are owed a lot of money, or the matter is particularly important to you, then you can pursue the debt via legal means, including the Court process, also known as Litigating.
Repayment of your Court fee could hinge on your claim being successful
MG Legal, your solicitors Garstang, regularly pursue money claims, whether in Personal Injury, unpaid loans between family, friends or businesses, debtors from Tenancies or failure to deliver on larger purchases such as cars. One fact applies to them all, to get any return out of the claim, it must be successful. If it is not, you recover nothing and are likely worse off than before due to having expended time, energy and money, whether on Solicitor’s fees or Court fees.
What fees and costs are recoverable?
If your claim has a value of less than £10,000.00 (for a non-Personal Injury case) or £1,000.00 (for Personal Injury cases), the matter would be deemed to be a Small Claims Track matter and your recoverable Solicitor’s fees are capped or, in some cases, there is no provision for recovering Solicitor’s fees.
If your claim exceeds either of the thresholds above, your Solicitor’s fees and Court fees are generally recoverable, albeit Personal Injury costs are capped at a certain level under Part 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules.
The key factor in the above is that for any fees to be recoverable, your claim must be successful. If your claim fails, then there is no entitlement to recover any fees at all.
Nobody wants to lose, but it does happen
MG Legal, your solicitors Garstang, regularly Litigate on behalf of clients and we would not recommend that you proceed to Court if your claim does not have a strong chance of success. However, nobody has ever walked into the Court with a 100% chance of success and so, as confident as you might be, it always makes sense to minimise the risk.
How can I minimise this risk?
In Personal Injury cases, MG Legal, your solicitors Garstang, routinely act on the basis of a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement), meaning that subject to each client cooperating to bring their claim to a conclusion, we will waive our fees in the unlikely event it does not succeed.
In other matters, where a Conditional Fee Agreement is not viable and so the case is privately funded (the client makes payments on account in advance of work being done), we will attempt to set a fixed fee instruction and to act on the most favourable terms possible.
In every case, if it is necessary to issue Proceedings in the County Court, the Court require a fee to issue the claim. In both cases, the Court will expect that the Claimant pays a fee to issue the claim, this money being used to pay for the Court’s time in processing and managing the claim and for the Judge’s time in reviewing the file and making various Orders. It is, therefore, worthwhile assessing whether you may get a Fee Remission from the Court.
Form EX160 Application for a Fee Remission
Issue Fees are set on a scale up to the £10,000.00 mark, with the fee to issue a claim valued at up to £10,000.00 being £455.00 and the issue fee thereafter being 5% of the value of the claim.
Completing a Form EX160 Application for a Fee Remission is the form to complete to obtain a discount and potentially a waiver of the Court Fee in its entirety. If the claim is being handled on a Conditional Fee Agreement basis, your Solicitor may well ask that you assist with the Fee by applying for a Remission. If you are privately funding your claim, it makes sense to apply for the Fee Remission also.
The lowest threshold for a Remission is an income of £1,045.00 per month for a single person with no dependants. The remission goes up on a sliding scale thereafter and so, the bigger the issue fee, the more chance you will be entitled to at least a partial remission. The Form EX160 covers income and savings and so, if you have limited financial means, the remission is a welcome assistance as, even if your claim succeeds, the fee will be paid potentially 12 months before the case reaches Trial and settles.
The steep increase in Issue Fees
If you are issuing a claim for, say, £25,000.00, the Court will require a fee of £1,250.00 before they will seal the papers and serve them on the Defendant. So, if your claim were to prove unsuccessful and you had received a remission of, say, 80%, this would at least soften the blow, as you would only have paid £250.00 instead of £1,250.00.
Should a case proceed to Trial, the Court also expect a Hearing Fee to be paid, again these range from as little as £25.00 up to £1,090.00 for the complex Multi-Track Hearings. An 80% Fee Remission would, therefore, save you nearly £2,000.00 when taking both fees into account.
This is, when all is said and done, roughly the take-home pay of someone earning the average national salary and so it is not an amount of money to be risked if it can be avoided.
How do I start my Claim?
MG Legal, your solicitors Garstang handle a wide array of legal matters including Personal Injury, Family & Children matters, Powers of Attorney, Wills & Probate and Property matters. If you require advice and representation on legal matters, look no further than MG Legal and we will put you in touch with the right person to deal with your matter.
As above, we aim to accept all Personal Injury claims on a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win, no fee agreement) and the vast majority of other instructions can be accepted on a fixed fee basis.
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