Litigation can be a minefield and there are many aspects which the legal adviser will need to consider when making applications and drafting the particulars of claim or defence or even reply to defence. One point that the client will be mindful of is how much it is costing.
The majority of people who wish to issue a claim against another party will be allocated to the small claims track which mean that the specified amount being claimed is under £10,000.00. The courts will not consider insisting on the ‘loser’ paying the winners legal costs unless there are obvious signs of unreasonable behaviour and is beyond the scope of this note. For most people, they will only be able to claim back fixed costs through Part 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules.
The courts have neatly broken down what can be claimed for and in what circumstances it can be claimed. The main consideration will be given to the amount of fixed commencement costs in a claim for the recovery of money or goods under 45.2, specifically it states:
(1) The amount of fixed commencement costs in a claim to which rule 45.1(2)(a) or (b) applies –
(a) will be calculated by reference to Table 1; and
(b) the amount claimed, or the value of the goods claimed if specified, in the claim form is to be used for determining the band in Table 1 that applies to the claim.
Table 1 provides a detailed breakdown of how much can be claimed back for legal representative costs. The usual thought for any legal representative issuing a claim on its client’s behalf is how much is the claim, who is issuing and how is it being issued. Then the fixed costs that can be awarded are between £22.00 and £85.00.
It can also be possible for the claimant to request costs for entering judgment. Again, the amount will depend on how much the claim is for and so on. However, it is important to note that for the recovery of certain matters such as land or in a road traffic accident, the amounts that can be claimed differ further.
Finally, it is not an exhaustive list under Part 45 and in fact can be at the court’s discretion. In 45 .1, it sets out the scope of the rules and covers itself for any variation to the rules by stating ‘the amounts which, unless the court orders otherwise, are to be allowed in respect of legal representatives’ charges.’
If you are considering issuing a claim, you must first conform to the Practice Directions for Pre-Action Protocol under the Civil Procedure Rules. This means that there are steps that must be taken before issuing a claim. If you wish to find out more or would need Lawdit to draft the claim form, issue the claim or draft the Particulars of Claim to accompany the claim form, please contact us or send us an email.