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Understanding the New Fixed Recoverable Costs Regime (A to Z list)

by Ridley & Hall in David Wilson, Litigation posted October 3, 2023.
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The implementation of the new Fixed Recoverable Costs (FRC) regime marks a significant shift in the way civil litigators operate. While Personal Injury (PI) lawyers have been accustomed to FRC since 2013, this change will affect the broader legal landscape.

Advocacy Fees – these are the same under FRC irrespective of the seniority of the barrister used.

Band – this is a new concept and there are four bands in each of the Fast Track and (new) Intermediate Track.

Counsel – Barristers are entitled to fixed fees for certain specified work during proceedings.

Defendant Costs – the FRC which can be claimed from Defendants are based on the amount claimed by the Claimant.

Experts – there is no provision in the new FRC rules for fixed fees for different types of experts over and above those already fixed in certain personal injury cases.

Fixed Recoverable Costs – there are various tables to calculate the FRC based (in simple terms) on the track, band, amount of claim and when settlement reached.

Grade of Solicitors – as with Barristers, the amount payable as FRC is not dependent on the seniority of the Solicitor.

Hearings – fixed amounts are payable by the losing party in interim applications.

Implementation Date – in general terms (apart from personal injury cases) the new FRC rules apply to all money claims valued between £10,000 and £100,000 issued after 1st October 2023.

Judicial Review – there have already been challenges to the new rules which may result in a Court having to decide whether they are valid.

Kids – money claims involving children are covered by the new FRC scheme (with some exceptions).

Letter of Claim – it may become good practice to include an opinion on what track and band a case falls into in the letter giving details of the claim

Ministry of Justice – although FRC rules are not yet in force, the Ministry of Justice is already considering some changes.

New Rules – the rules (CPR) governing allocation of cases (CP26) Fast and Intermediate Track (CPR28) and Fixed Recoverable Costs (CPR45) have been completely revised to incorporate the new FRC scheme.

Offers – the rules relating to Part 36 offers have changed to allow uplifts on both Claimant and Defendant FRC in certain circumstances.

Parties – the number of parties involved in any given case is one of the criteria in determining whether the case falls into the Fast or Intermediate Track.

Quantum – this is the main determining factor when allocating a case to the Fast or Intermediate Track.

Recoverable – always remember that the fixed amounts that can be claimed are only those costs recoverable from your losing opponent and the amount which can be claimed by the Solicitor from their client is subject to the terms of the Solicitor/Client retainer.

Settlement – the stage at which a case settles is one of the factors in determining the level of recoverable costs.

Track – there are now four types (known as tracks) of case namely Small Claims Track (general rule no costs can be claimed), Fast Track (in simple terms valued at £10,000 to £25,000), (new) Intermediate Track (in simple terms cases valued at between £25,000 and £100,000) where FRC apply, and Multi Track (in simple terms cases valued above £100,000) where existing costs rules still apply.

Unreasonable Behaviour – conduct which is unreasonable during the proceedings (an example may be refusing unreasonably to agree to Mediation) may increase the amount recovered as FRC.

Vulnerability – the vulnerability of a party involved in the proceedings (or indeed a witness) may increase the amount of FRC which can be claimed.

Warning – please note that as with any major change in Court procedure, although these rules are intended to simplify methods by fixing recoverable costs, there will undoubtedly be a settling in period where there are effectively several test cases to determine the scope and extent of these rules.

Xtreme – (cheating a bit here) – It could be argued that the amount of change and way of working caused by the new FRC is extreme.

Your Location – this does not affect fixed FRC – the amount recoverable is the same whether based in the Outer Hebrides or Surrey.

Zzz – you deserve a snooze if you have reached this letter!

As you will appreciate the above is a very simplistic overview of the new FRC based on the Latin/Roman alphabet.

If you need more information about how these fixed recoverable costs will affect any monetary dispute in which you have an interest, please contact our David Wilson on our freephone 0800 860 62 65.  David is a highly experienced litigator and has a thriving caseload of primarily debt recovery cases for local businesses in the Barnsley area

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