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News Item: New Track & Rules When Taking Action to Recovery Money Through the Court

There are now four, not three tracks for cases in the civil courts to be assigned to:

Small Claims TrackFast TrackIntermediate TrackMulti Track
For Amounts Up To £10,000For Amounts Between £10,000 & £25,000For Amounts Between £25,000 & £100,000For Amounts Over £25,000.
*Amounts over £100k will be heard in the High Court

The new intermediate track will apply to cases valued between £25,000 to £100,000 which are for monetary relief only (not injunctions or specific performance) where the trial is likely to last no longer than three days, with no more than two experts per party giving oral evidence.

Furthermore, certain claims must still be allocated to the multi-track such as those concerning cases against the police, human rights issues, asbestos lung disease or clinical negligence claims or those involving the harm, abuse or neglect of children or vulnerable adults.

The intermediate track, like the fast track, will also have four complexity bands, with each case being assigned to both a track and a complexity band. The parties may agree on the complexity band for their case, but the court will retain its discretion to assign each case to the band it feels is most appropriate.

The benefits of the intermediate track will be a simplified procedure, which includes stricter case management, a maximum fifteen stages and fixed recoverable costs.

This is an attempt to provide certainty as to costs, allowing wider access to justice for all as costs do not run the risk of spiralling. The complexity band along with the stage the claim has reached will be used to ascertain the level of fixed recoverable costs.

What Does This Mean For Claiming Costs of Legal Action?

Usually, no costs are awarded to cases within the small claims track, apart from the fixed costs relevant to making the claim. Costs for defended cases are not awarded, whether or not you are the winning party. 

Once a case is allocated to a specific track (such as Small Claims Track, Fast Track, Intermediate Track, or Multi-Track), there are set fees recoverable as costs by the successful party from the losing party. The complexity of Fast Track and Intermediate Track cases determines the Band the case will be assigned to, and this, along with the stage the case concludes at, will determine the fixed costs recoverable. You can find more information here: Practice Direction 45 – Tables of Fixed Costs (2023).

For Top Service members, we will always ensure you are fully aware of the merits of each case before legal action is instructed. Our team of experts review cases individually and are able to review cases both from a legal and commercial perspective.

Our advice to members is that consultation should be sought with a solicitor where possible, to ensure you are fully aware of the costs implication of taking action and how those implications compare to the merits of the case.

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