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Legal Costs

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL6178, tabled on 7 March 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the cost of litigation; (2) the extent to which this is related to fees charged by lawyers; and (3) the existence of a genuine competitive market to ensure that such fees are set at a level that is fair and reasonable.

Answered on

21 March 2018

The Government does not hold data on the legal fees charged by lawyers to their clients, which are private matters. The Government does, however, continue to have concerns about the costs of civil litigation that may be recovered from a losing party. These recoverable costs, if not fixed, are agreed between the parties or determined by the court at the end of the case. We have taken action on these recoverable costs in recent years, largely implementing the recommendations of Sir Rupert Jackson’s ‘Review of Civil Litigation Costs: Final Report’, published in January 2010, including in Part 2 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, in April 2013.

Sir Rupert’s ‘Supplemental Report: Fixed Recoverable Costs’, published in July 2017 recommended extending fixing the recoverable costs in all civil cases up to £25,000 damages, and in less complex cases up to £100,000 damages. The Government is considering the report and will set out the way forward in due course.