The Bar Council of England and Wales has welcomed the Lord Chancellor’s announcement at the Civil Justice Forum (Friday 17 November) that he would be further uprating the fixed recoverable costs figures for inflation in April 2024.

The Bar Council and Personal Injury Bar Association made a strong case for the increase in costs and reform of the system to help reduce the backlog and ensure pay for work done. In a consultation response in September they warned of the creation of a two-tier system.

In response to a question from Sam Townend KC, Vice Chair of the Bar, on the principle of regular inflation increases for fixed costs, the Lord Chancellor said it was “something that temperamentally really appeals to me,” and added, “The idea of trying to keep things stable, predictable and proportionate is I think is a positive one. So I’ll look at it carefully.”

Welcoming the announcement, Sam Townend KC, Vice Chair of the Bar, said:

“It is good news that the fixed recoverable costs figures are again to be raised in April 2024 having been raised for the first time in a decade for fast-track cases this October. It is essential for access to justice that fixed recoverable costs thresholds keep up with rate of inflation, to allow for the work covered by the regime to be viable for both solicitors and barristers.

“I am pleased that the Lord Chancellor also agreed to look at the question of independently set annual uprating of these costs recovery caps. The current system which splits the setting of the rates by the Ministry of Justice from the implementation by the Civil Procedure Rules Committee is cumbersome and lacks transparency, predictability and consistency and is bad for consumer claimants, defendants, and the legal professions.”