Fixed fees across the fast-track

The Government has announced its proposals for the new fee structure for the extended RTA portal, which will now cover RTA claims up to £25,000 and also EL and PL claims.

As anticipated/feared this will be dramatically lower than current levels with the fee for RTA cases worth up to £10,000 falling from £1,200 to £500. For RTA claims worth between £10,000 and £25,000 the fee will be £800.

In respect of EL and PL claims, the proposed figures are £900 for cases up to £10,000 and £1,600 for cases up to £1,600.

If that were not dramatic enough fee, arguably, the even more significant announcement is a set of fixed fees for claims that exit the portal. The absence of fixed fees in this area has always been the glaring omission in the plans to control costs. Lord Justice Jackson’s proposals and are now going to be implemented virtually in full.

Fixed fees across the fast-track come April 2013.

40 thoughts on “Fixed fees across the fast-track

  1. “And now, the end is near, and now we face, the final curtain” :/
    well, at least we have a few years of chaos yet to watch the system crumble :)

  2. This is truly great news. At last Claimant solicitors will no longer be able to fabricate bills of costs for most cases!

    On the down side, I need to find a new job :-( I suppose most will argue that a few more unemployed people is a price well worth paying (which is also my opinion) but nevertheless being unemployed will be rotten.

    Anyone have any ideas as to careers that are achievable for LCD?

  3. god bless all of you. Well done to you all for milking the system for years. You have created the mess and now pay the price. Goodbye Costs Lawyers, Goodbye costs draftsmen. Complete chaos to follow with a meltdown of the entire legal system. Have you ever known so many multipal costs provisions to apply at the same time especially with transitional provisions aswell. Lots of negligence claims on the way. Lots of nice big costs firms going bust!

  4. Erm, Richard? Fabricate bills of costs? In what way does fixed fees = any suggestion of fabrication on the part of any claimant or cost draftsman??

    its that sort of stupid comment, and the rank greed of insurers (whom lets not forget, having shot themselves in the foot over referrals, will now have to turn the srcrew on their panel firms to recoup the loss – Claimant non-panel will get the full £500.00, Defendant Panel will be lucky if they keep £100.00 after paying of the Insurer referral/share), which has led to this

    I so hope you enjoy admin work

  5. Wow, still a consultation though…if implemented, this will put 80-90% of cost people out of a job.

  6. Oh yes I remember that post, Simon!

    Anonymous on November 20th, 2012 12:03 pm:
    I know firms of solicitors (that I refuse to work for) that make up bills of costs vastly in excess of the costs they actually incurred. I have even spoken to the SRA to see what can be done about it (basically they can’t be bothered with it). So fixed fees stop solicitors doing this. Pretty simple, really. I’m surprised you didn’t get that.

    Referral fees don’t have anything to do with what I was saying, though. And I won’t be doing admin work – I’ll be doing technical things – nails! LOL.

  7. Simon, what’s your source for fixed fees across the Fast Track from April 2013? Can’t find it on the MOJ site or the usual sources?

  8. Richard
    note your surprise
    if you formally report such fraud, the SRA will look at it, and its your duty to do so

    still doesnt justify fixed fees at all

  9. So alot of people are going to be very worried about the future if the levels stay as published. We all know the rates need to come down and there needs to be changes but the amount of Claimant and Defendant Costs lawyers/Draftsman this is going to affect is going to be high. 90% has been mentioned but I wonder if there will be a need/demand at all for Costs Lawyers in the future.

  10. great – just love it. What a great day if that happens. Never have to deal with stupid thick costs monkeys who have no idea what they are doing and cause shed loads of costs to be incurred before they then cave in. Amatures! Bye bye. Now see if you can get a job with no qualifications and earn £30,000 a year – not!! Ha.

  11. There will still be a reasonable amount of costs litigation for those claims which are applied to the multi track and above therefore above the portal limit, and will allow those dedicated, experienced and well thought of costs lawyers and practitioners to apply their attention to matters that actually require their expertise.

    If the figures remain at or close to those proposed, the whole application of fast track matters will be realised, a mere 14 years after the CPR was introduced.

    Fairness and balance back into our civil justice system? You bet!

  12. @12.05pm

    oh yes i mean people like you! bye bye.

    i will indeed enjoy not having to speak to people like you.

  13. @ 5.05 pm & 3.08 pm – If your going to insult people, please be learn to spell properly!

  14. It must be a worry for some. I would certainly not like to be starting out now or have an office lease and bank loan. I work from home with no loan and will simply retire when the work dries up. I saw this coming years ago – pre Jackson.

    I firmly believe that those who really know the job and provide a good service will prevail and earn a good living. It will sort the wheat from the chaff…and that is no bad thing.

    Too many people who have very limited knowledge of costs and have never attended a detailed assessment hearing have called themselves costs draftsmen and made a living dealing with low value Bills and that will end.

  15. Will this really be the end product. will this be allowed to happen in its current form? Will all such lawyers and law professionals who have invested so much time, money, effort and expertise just go away meekly into the night?

  16. good to see the mud slinging going on – that obviously adds to the debate / solves the issues ….

    as I have said more times than not both Claimants and Defendants need each other!

    For every Defendant muppet there is a Claimant muppet

    Finally, be careful what you wish for. If they introduce all those crazy tariffs then yes the Claimant market will shrink rapidly. But so will the Defendant market too…..

    There will be more cases handled by the claims handlers in-house and settled without medical evidence and on the basis of speculative offers

    Suddenly the fast track teams in the Defendant practices are not needed either ….

  17. you hit the nail on the head there, annon

    tho they will argue they get paid fixed fees for the work they do anyway – funny how that fact never seems to come out on a DA of Defendant costs however ;)

  18. @ Kevin Hassey

    If I’m reading it correctly, “escape” is the same principle as CPR 45.12 where you can seek to be removed from fixed costs in exceptional circumstances.

    Failure to achieve a minimum of 20% above the value of fixed costs (less VAT) will result in the lesser amount being awarded ala CPR 45.13.

  19. Furthermore, if you do fail to beat the 20% value, you’ll be slapped with a costs order to boot ala CPR 45.14!!

  20. Mr Hassey

    Wake up will you. The glimmer you see is a fiction of your imagination. Then Defendants do have very good imagination. They can make up so many useless things that cost so much! LOL. Bye bye

  21. I’m sorry but I have to leave a message. I am appalled by the conversation going on here with Annonymous with his/her message at 3.08pm & 10.54pm. I do not know why you are such a horrible human being but you truely are. I am a Costs Draftsman who has not only got a degree but have also completed the LPC. I probably therefore have more qualifications than you.

    I couldn’t get a training contract due to the messed up legal system where everyone has to know someone. I therefore fell lucky and found someone who took a chance on me and trained me as a cost draftsman. I’ve been through enough crap in my life and believe I have had enough hardship then I would ever wish on anyone. I have been rapped, domestically abused, had my aunt die of cancer along with my 2 year old cousin die of a brain tumour but finally found myself when I came into the world of costs. I am now happily married, have a mortgage to pay and was planning on starting a family. But now because of narrow minded people like you and the big wigs sat up in their ivory tower I now have to set about not only finding a new job but probably a new career. And put my idea’s of a family life on hold.

    My guessing is I’m not the only one out there in this kind of position and these reforms are going to make hundreds if not thousands of people unemployed in a time where uemployment is already so high. So thanks!!!!!

  22. I accidently fell into drafting costs a few years ago when I had no idea what I wanted to do for a living.

    I still don’t know what I want to do but I’ll obviously have to decide quickly, now. It’s an awful feeling to have no idea what to do and to face the prospect of unemployment. I have great sympathy for everyone who will lose their jobs over the changes.

    But something has to change. The current system of recoverable success fees and ATE is preposterous and many solicitors are making up bills (or including “estimated” time and pretending it’s recorded, shall we say) and the hourly rates are high. Got to do something. Whether fixed fees really are the best way, I don’t know but I what other way is there? Would a huge reduction in the hourly rates work?

    Like I said earlier, it’s still very sad for people (including me) who don’t know anything except costs.

  23. I was truly shocked (and disappointed) by, what can only be described, as contemptuous bile, being spewed out by Anonymous. What is your problem?! Why such obvious hate?! Did a costs draftsman kick your puppy?!!

    I am a costs drafter myself, with two university degrees and the LPC under my belt. I, like many others, fell into costs, decided I liked it, and stayed.

    I do my job professionally and with care, just as I am sure many other costs drafters do. Obviously there are always going to be the odd idiot or two out there, who truly deserve their “costs monkey” title…or worse. But to tar everyone with the same brush, is not only narrow minded, but lazy.

    Regarding all the changes up ahead: If I need to change professions then so be it, life is about change, without it we cease to progress. So for all those facing an uncertain future (in whatever profession), look forward and remain positive – “where one door closes, another opens”. Who knows, you might find a new hidden talent that has remained dormant for all these years.

  24. Mr Fletcher’s article (as referred to by Kevin) appears to gloss over the other reason CPR 45.12 is little used – the exceptional circumstances requirement Kevin referred to earlier.

    If this is to be the escape clause under the new rules then by its very definition it is unlikely many cases will be escaping.

    I understand that there is already a second appeal proposed to the Court of Appeal for clarity as to what ‘exceptional circumstances’ mean, so for once we may know the answer even before we have the new rule.

  25. Do we know what will trigger the the new scheme? Date of accident? Date of CFA? All new claims after April 2013?

    Thanks

  26. think the case referred to above is Costin v Merron

    Am told that D. is seeking precise Definitions from the C of A

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