Subject to the LSLA's opposition both to the principle of full cost recovery and to the method of calculating that cost, the LSLA has no objection to the proposed fees for the Civil Court and the Family Court set out in Annex A to the consultation paper.
The consultation paper refers in its executive summary to proposed future steps. One of these is the development of hearing fees, including the possibility of daily hearing fees in large commercial cases. Even though this topic is not part of the consultation exercise covered by CP31/08, it would be wrong not to record in this response the LSLA's concerns about hearing fees and the LSLAs deeply-rooted belief that daily hearing fees would be both objectionable, particularly if limited to large commercial cases, and counter-productive; in addition to the reasoning set out in the LSLA's response to consultation paper CP5/07, the primary reason for this opposition is that it is generally in the large commercial cases where the parties have at least some flexibility in the choice of litigation forum and if the imposition of daily court fees has the effect, as is justifiably feared, of driving the large commercial cases away from England to other jurisdictions, the initiative may well result in very little revenue being derived from daily court fees and will certainly reduce invisible earnings by reducing the extent to which major commercial entities worldwide make use of London and the English legal profession for litigation.
Q3-5: No comment.
The LSLA looks forward to the opportunity to be consulted in connection with any future steps in connection with court fees, and generally.
4th March 2009