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The winning party in civil cases is generally entitled to an order for payment of his legal costs from the loser. In certain cases the amount of legal costs that can be recovered for various stages of the litigation, from pre-issue to the final hearing, is fixed.
The aim of fixing recoverable costs is to keep costs certain and proportionate and to promote access to justice. If a party knows at the outset what the costs consequences of losing are likely to be then the entire process becomes more certain. Fixed Recoverable Costs (“FRC”) have been with us for over a decade, having been first introduced in 2010 for road traffic accident cases of up to £10,000 in damages. Back in 2016 Sir Rupert Jackson recommended introducing FRC for all civil cases of up to £250,000 in damages, but in a 2017 report he recommended FRC regimes for civil cases of up to £100,000.
Following a consultation exercise, the Government has published a Response and is now implementing an extension of FRC by introducing a number of new measures, including:-
The Response also says that the fast track (currently for cases worth £10,000 to £25,000) will be expanded to include simpler ‘intermediate’ cases valued between £25,000 to £100,000 in damages.
The full Government Response can be viewed here.
September 20, 2021
Hilary is a Solicitor and Partner in our Commercial Dispute Resolution team.