Changes to County Court and High Court Litigation

Court fees will increase as part of the Government’s aim to cover the costs of running the court system.

Some of the new fees for starting a claim have increased significantly, for example a claim between £5,000 and £15,000 which would have incurred a court fee of £245 will now cost £455.

Fees have also increased in possession claims, rising from £175 to £280. The fees for enforcement of Judgments remain unchanged, as do hearing fees.

Further changes have also now come into force to introduce the single County Court. The previous system of around 176 separate county courts covering different geographical areas has been replaced by a single national entity with a national jurisdiction for civil cases in England and Wales, known as the County Court.

The aim is to simplify the task of allocating cases before a judge and transferring cases between court centres. Court business will take place at County Court hearing centres which will be the locations of the current county courts and their administrative offices.

There has also been a change to the value of a claim which can be issued in the High Court. A claim must now have a value of at least £100,000 to be commenced in the High Court, a significant increase from the previous value of £25,000.

Whilst many of these changes are aimed at improving the running of the court system and making the system self-funding, it does seem that if potential claimants are put off from issuing claims as a result of higher fees and there is an overall drop in claims, then this will undermine the whole rationale of the changes.

For further information, contact Sara Beaumont by calling 0161 761 4611 or email