As of the 1st October 2023, the civil court system will see some significant changes, including the introduction of the new claims track in the rolling out of a fixed costs regime for claims worth between £10,000 and £100,000.
Currently, any claim issued in the civil courts will be allocated to a “track” on the basis of its complexity and value. The current tracks are:
Each claims track has its own procedure and standard directions, with a view to dealing with cases simply and swiftly in the Small Claims Track, and allowing more but appropriate court time and resources to deal with the more complex cases for those allocated to the Fast and Multi-Track.
The new claims track will be inserted between the Fast Track and Multi-Track to create an “Intermediate Track”, which will be subject to the new fixed costs regime.
So, what claims will fall into the new Intermediate Track?
The new Intermediate Track will apply to all cases with a value between £25,000 and up to £100,000 provided that:
The Intermediate Track will attempt to deal with claims in a more expedited way than the Multi-Track is able to, and the standard directions will reflect the fact that this track is intended to apply to the more straight-forward cases which used to fall into the Multi-Track due to their value, but where the underlying issues were not complex.
The majority of mesothelioma/ asbestos lung disease claims, clinical negligence claims, harm and abuse of children or vulnerable adults claims, and claims against the police for intentional or reckless tort or human rights breaches, will be excluded from the new claims track and will likely be allocated to the Multi-Track.
Fixed Costs Regime
All claims within the Fast Track and Intermediate Track will be allocated to a “complexity band” within the track, with Band 1 cases being the least complex and with Band 4 cases being the most complex cases. The guidance currently states that Bands 2 and 3 will be the usual bands for the majority of cases.
Once assigned to a Band, the new rules set out specific recoverable costs at each stage of proceedings including:
The government has issued a draft document setting out the specific recoverable costs, which is available here, however the key areas to note are:
1. Fast Track
Therefore, the maximum fixed costs recoverable in a claim in which £25,000 in damages is awarded by the court would be £22,300.
2. Intermediate Track
Therefore, the maximum fixed costs recoverable in a claim in which £100,000 in damages is awarded by the court would be £70,880.
The above changes come into effect as of 1st October 2023, which means that any claims issued before that date will be subject to the previous rules such as costs being assessed by the Court. However, it is important that parties continue to comply with pre-action rules, and we would advise potential claimants not to issue their claim prematurely if they wish to avoid the new fixed costs regime. It is therefore important that you do not delay in seeking advice about your potential claim.
If you believe that you have a potential claim and would like to speak to someone about the redundancy process, please contact Victoria Ramshaw in our Employment and Dispute Resolution Team on 01543 267 238 or email email@example.com
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