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Limit for small claims rises to £10,000 and for county court cases to £100,000

9 February 2012

Justice secretary Ken Clarke has this morning announced an increase in the limit for small claims from £5,000 to £10,000 and for county court cases from £15,000 to £100,000, apart from personal injury.

The limit on cases going through the RTA portal will rise from £10,000 to £25,000 and includes employer and public liability personal injury cases.

Clarke said the number of cases in the small claims system would rise by up to 80,000 cases a year and was being raised “with a view to increasing it again to £15,000 subject to evaluation”.

In a consultation paper published this time last year the MoJ suggested that the small claims limit should rise directly to £15,000 and RTA portal claims go up to £50,000 (see solicitorsjournal.com, 29 March 2011).

“Without effective civil justice, businesses couldn’t trade, individuals couldn’t enforce their rights and government couldn’t fulfil its duties,” Clarke said.

“But individuals and businesses tell me that the civil justice system at the moment can sometimes be intimidating and that they don’t know if using the system will be worth the time, expense and hassle of going to court.

“I want to make the system as easy and transparent as possible. I want people to be able to resolve their disputes cheaply and simply through the courts’ very successful mediation service and I want judges freed up to make quick and effective judgments based on the facts of a case, without unnecessary legal complication.”

In its response to the consultation paper Solving Disputes in the County Courts, the government also said a single county court for all civil and family claims would be introduced. Restrictions on High Court judges sitting in the county courts would be lifted.

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