Lord Justice Jackson has called for fixed costs to apply to all claims valued up to £250,000, urging government ministers to make reform an immediate priority.
In a Westminster speech, Jackson said the time has now come to extend the fixed fees regime significantly. Current fixed costs apply only to personal injury claims valued up to £25,000, but Jackson recommended that every type of civil claim up to £250,000 should be subject to new restrictions.
Jackson even went as far as to suggest a grid of rates – minus disbursements and VAT – for each value of claim: £18,750 for claims up to £50,000; £30,000 for claims up to £100,000; £47,500 for claims up to £175,000, and £70,250 for claims up to £250,000.
However, Jackson advised the government to pause plans for fixed fees for clinical negligence claims to stop the ‘Balkanisation’ of fees for different types of claim.
‘What we do not want to have is a series of separate grids for different types of cases,’ he said. ‘There should be a single fixed costs grid for all multi-track cases up to £250,000.’
The judge baulked at applying fixed costs to claims valued over £250,000, saying that ‘would be too great a change for the profession to accept’, though he suggested a universal costs regime could be implemented once people see how it works.