Extension of Fixed Recoverable Costs – What are the new guidelines?
What are Fixed Recoverable Costs?
Fixed Recoverable Costs (FRCs) are the amount of legal fees and costs a winning party can claim from the losing party during a civil litigation case. FRC have already been in place for personal injury cases worth up to £25,000 but the new changes mean more cases and circumstances will now fall under fixed costs as opposed to standard costs.
Fixed recoverable costs in civil cases have always been able to give parties certainty in advance to the amount of legal costs they are going to be able to claim back from a case, however, case costs can be hard to predict and if the value goes over the fixed amount recoverable then it leaves parties with uncertainty on paying/receiving the costs owed at the conclusion.
Ultimately, the aim of using fixed recoverable costs is to provide clear and proportionate costs guidelines for all parties involved in the litigation.
At Greener Costs, our team of Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers are highly experienced in dealing with a range of law costing services and can successfully assist clients with their costs on a range of cases. Our expertise on the extension of fixed recoverable costs ensures we can provide a high-quality service, working to help our clients receive the full amount of costs they are owed.
What has changed in regard to FRC?
Between March and June 2019, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) issued a consultation on extending fixed recoverable costs to cases in England and Wales was held by the government, essentially discussing the advice given by Sir Rupert Jackson in his report of FRC back in 2017.
The government subsequently published its consultation paper on the matter in September 2021, with initial reports saying the new rules would come into effect in October 2022, though it has now surfaced from another report that the changes will not come into effect until spring 2023.
Within the government’s consultation the new proposals set to include all civil cases on the fast track (valued up to £25,000 and lasting no longer than one day) to fall under FRC, as well as including more complex claims and intermediate cases valued between £25,000 and £100,000. The proposals also included a new process regarding FRC within noise-induced hearing loss claims and clinical negligence claims up to £25,000 which is being considered as a separate issue.
The new proposals also issue new guidance on penalties for when a Part 36 offer is rejected or if a party has acted unreasonably throughout proceedings, meaning parties could be subject to losing out on their costs or paying our more on their costs depending on their actions during a case.
Response to the changes in FRC
There are several arguments to be made regarding the reforms suggested by the Lord Justice Jackson surrounding fixed recoverable costs, though the main argument against it is the concern that the new rules could mean less people have access to justice.
The argument that the extension to fixed recoverable costs could restrict people’s access to justice is likely due to the fact that many solicitors and law professionals may have to turn down work on civil litigation cases in fear of some cases potentially running up more than £100,000 in costs, in which the excess costs will not be recovered.
How Greener Costs Can Assist
The changes and reforms to FRC will be introduced through the civil procedure rules committee and will affect small claims and cases worth up to £25,000 and more intermediate cases on the fast track up to a maximum amount of £100,000.
The new rules surrounding the extension can make costing a case more complex, which is why it is important to get a specialist Costs Draftsman or Costs Lawyer to advise you.
Our experienced Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers are highly capable to assist with fixed costs and our clients can be assured that we use all of the tools at our disposable to ensure you receive the highest standard of advice surrounding your costs whether you are the paying party or receiving party.
With our extensive knowledge and highly skilled team of Costs Draftsmen, we can provide law costing services to clients throughout England and Wales. We can help your case from the start of your dispute and can see it through all the way to preparing costs for assessment and representation at detailed assessment hearings, working with all the senior courts, including the Court of Appeal.
In addition to our drafting services at Greener Costs, we are actively doing everything we can to ensure our business benefits the environment. We are doing this though carbon offsetting of our staff, becoming completely paperless and carbon offsetting through each instruction.
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