Fast Track Trial Costs
When a case is referred to the "Fast track" by the Court there are a number of implications, the most significant of which is that the case is supposed to proceed to trial swiftly and there are fixed fast track trial costs.
The fixed costs cover the costs of an advocate preparing for and appearing at the trial and are set out in Part 46 of the Civil Procedure Rules. They do not include VAT (which is payable on top), any success fee (if the party recovering costs was represented under a conditional fee agreement) or "any other disbursements". "Any other disbursements" is not defined, but would probably exclude the advocates travel costs.
The amount allowed depends on the value of the claim. Where the costs are payable to the Claimant it is based on the global value the Court has assessed the claim to have, ignoring any interest or reduction for the Claimant also being at fault, or the amount the Defendant was claiming from the Claimant if higher. If the costs are payable to the Defendant they are based on how much the Claimant stated the case was worth on the Claim Form.
|Value of Claim||Amount of costs|
|Cases up to £3,000||£485|
|Cases from £3,001 up to £10,000||£690|
|Cases from £10,001 to £15,000||£1,035|
|Cases over £15,000||£1,650|
If there is more than one party represented by the same advocate the value is the total value for all parties that advocate represented.
Where each party wins to some degree the court may split the amount between them as it sees fit. Some cases involve both a claim and a counterclaim and if both succeed then the costs are the net difference between the costs payable to each side for their own case.
Sometimes the Court may Order a split trial of some of the issues, so there are effectively 2 trial dates. In those cases an additional sum can be awarded up to 2/3 of the full trial costs subject to a minimum amount of £485.
Historically if the advocate was a barrister they would have to be attended by a solicitor at trial. That rule has been scrapped and a solicitor is only required to attend in exceptional circumstances, such as where there are a lot of witnesses and it would be difficult for the barrister to deal with them alone. If the Court is convinced that it was necessary for the solicitor to be there as well an additional £345 is recoverable.
Finally, a word of caution. The costs are supposed to be fixed, but if the judge takes the view that a party has acted unreasonably they can increase or reduce the amount of costs to be paid as they see fit.
- Further Information
- Fixed costs in motor claims
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