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Civil courts miss 100% costs recovery target

the road of money [1]

Employment tribunals increased recoveries by 10%

The civil courts have missed their 100% costs recovery target for 2014-15, it has emerged.

As a whole, the civil courts recovered 92% of their expenditure in fees during the financial year 2014-15, with the family courts (including the Court of Protection) recovering 87%. The civil, non-family, courts recovered 94%.

The figures, set out in HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) annual report and accounts, were an improvement on the previous year, when total civil business collected 82% of its expenditure in fees and family 79%.

Costs recovery in the tribunals runs at much lower levels, with employment leading the way on 17%, followed by asylum and immigration on 11% and other tribunals (including land and gambling) on 9%.

However, employment tribunals raised 10% more than the previous year, where they were bottom of the table, following the introduction of a new fee structure.

When the tribunals are included, costs recovery for the whole of HMCTS for the last financial year was 74%.

HMCTS said in its 2012-13 annual report that it aimed for “full cost recovery for civil and family business” by March 2015.

In this March this year, huge fee rises came into force [2] for civil claims worth more than £10,000, with claimants paying 5% of the value of their claim, up to a cap of £10,000.

The Law Society commenced judicial review proceedings in February, at one point citing the Magna Carta’s ban on the buying and selling of justice. However, after obtaining a counsel’s opinion, the society dropped the action [3]in April.

Commenting on the HMCTS figures on costs recovery, A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “Taxpayers should not have to subsidise the civil courts, which is why we want to recover all running costs through fees.

“We made a lot of progress last year, with a significant increase in the amount recovered. We expect further progress this year following changes introduced in March.”