Fixed Legal Costs
Fixed legal costs are simple in their application and simple in concept. The legal costs of certain work to be conducted by a lawyer are specified. The difficulty is that once they have been fixed they rarely change. Also, this only specifies how much the other side will have to pay if a fixed cost applies, the client can be charged considerably more and has to swallow the difference.
In 1994 a party could claim fixed costs of £180.25 for issuing a claim over £5,000. Today they can claim £100! Where the claim was for recovery of land then in 1994 fixed costs of £285.25 were allowed on entering judgment, whereas now it is £126.75. So much for inflation, and needless to say it is the client who foots the bill.
The idea of a fixed cost is that it is fixed. That has not stopped arguments over what is fixed and how it is fixed.
There are 4 types of fixed costs that need to be considered. These are:
- Costs for issuing and obtaining judgment on simple cases;
- Costs of enforcing judgments;
- Fixed fast track trial costs; and
- Fixed costs for road traffic accident claims which settled without Court proceedings being issued.
Fixed costs are dealt with in Rules 45 and 46 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998.
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