02 Mar 2015

UK litigation specialists fear backlash against London over proposed court fee hike

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of commercial lawyers believe that proposed increases in UK court fees - taking them up to £10,000 in claims worth over £200,000 - could send litigants to New York, Singapore and other jurisdictions.


A £200,000 claim which would cost £1,515 in court fees now would could cost £10,000 under the proposals. A survey by the UK Ministry of Justice has found that lawyers both in the UK and abroad feel that the proposed rise would reduce the attractiveness of London as a dispute resolution centre.

New SIngapore court

Geraldine Elliott, a partner in London-based firm RPC, said: 'The legal sector is one of Britain’s great success stories but London as a venue of big ticket litigation could come under threat from other locations if this fee increase is imposed....Lawyers will be considering using alternative jurisdictions for dispute resolution. New York court fees already compare favourably with those in the UK so any fee increase is likely to boost its popularity. Singapore is also likely to become a serious competitor to the UK once its Commercial Court begins to establish itself.' Singapore opened its commercial court in January this year.