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An expensive day in court

Richard Thomas considers the rationale of the government in respect of access to justice for SMEs

8 September 2015

In SJ 159/20 I highlighted how the massive increases recently applied to court fees would negatively impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their access to justice in an arbitrary and completely inequitable way. Rather than step back and take some time to consider the consequences of its actions, the government has now declared an intention to increase the fees to, in some cases, at least double that of the last increase.

In addition to the barrier to justice imposed by exorbitant and misconceived fees, SMEs also face the problem that the whole civil justice system has become geared to prevent them having their day in court. Obviously, it is widely accepted that a civil justice system is a cornerstone of a civilised society but it also has to be an accessible and equitable system.

Significant sums

Over recent years changes to the Civil Procedure Rules (CP...

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