With all the recent publicity surrounding the proposed changes to the ‘no win, no fee’ regime, another set of proposals, which may well be of greater importance to many people, has slipped under the radar of the popular press.
A new consultation paper proposes changes to the limits on claims to be heard by the lower courts. The proposals include:
- increasing the limit of most claims which can be dealt with in the small claims court from the current £5,000 to £15,000 or possibly as much as £25,000;
- raising the minimum limit for a case to be brought before the High Court in the first instance from £25,000 to £100,000; and
- sending home repossession cases to the High Court when they are for £350,000 or more; the present limit is £30,000.
In addition, the online system for the settlement of smaller road traffic accident claims is to be adapted for use in personal injury cases up to as much as £50,000 in value and trialled for use in claims for clinical negligence against the National Health Service.
The proposals in the consultation paper are very wide-ranging and may lead to substantial changes in how civil litigation operates.