The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has acknowledged that its proposals for fixed costs could hit smaller firms and increase the risk of professional negligence claims.

On 28 March, Justice secretary David Gauke confirmed proposals for fixed recoverable costs in civil cases valued up to £100,000, apart from clinical negligence and claims in the business and property courts.

The government’s impact assessment states that an extra 13,000 cases every year in the county court could be made subject to fixed recoverable costs. Fixed costs are, on average, likely to be lower in comparison to those lawyers currently recover, but the impact assessment states that such losses will be offset by cases being settled more quickly.