Claimant lawyers are set to have to pay a fee for every new claim lodged with the portal from next year.

Claims Portal Ltd has contacted solicitors outlining plans for 2016, with the changes divided into two phases.

The first phase, in April, will see interim improvements to the service including more functions for users and easier access to ongoing claims.

The second phase, scheduled for December 2016, will include the introduction of ‘User Pays’, meaning the company will apply a charge to claimant representatives using the portal at the point of submitting a new claims notification form.

This will wreck the portals … I suggest that everybody boycotts it from December 2016.

A spokesman for Claims Portal said the charge is likely to be between £1 and £3 per claims notification form, which will be non-refundable.

It will not be recoverable by claimants from compensators as a disbursement and will be used to cover the cost of the portal and related services.

Founder of Underwoods Solicitors Kerry Underwood said:

‘This will wreck the portals. I can see no legal justification for courts insisting on people using the portals, which are only voluntary, if they have to pay a fee and another fee to go to court and maybe a mediator’s fee. It is the inalienable right of every person in this country to have access to the court system.

‘I suggest that everyone boycotts it from December 2016 and let us see how the civil court system copes with one million issued claims in 2017.’