Case study 5 - commercial law - responsibility - England and Wales

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In this case study on commercial law – responsibility, Member States were asked to provide information for the customer on litigation costs in order to consider the following situations:

Case A – National situation: A heating equipment manufacturer delivers a heater to an installer. The installer on-sells (and installs) the heater to a customer to equip his/her house. The house catches fire shortly thereafter. Every participant (heating equipment manufacturer, installer, end-customer) is insured. The origin of the fire is contested. Nobody wants to compensate the customer.

The customer decides to sue for full compensation the heating equipment manufacturer, the heating equipment installer and the insurance companies.

Case B – Transnational situation: A heating equipment manufacturer in a Member State B delivers heater to an installer in a Member State C. The installer on-sells the heater (and installs) the heater to a customer in Member State A to equip his/her house. The house catches fire shortly thereafter. Each participant (heating equipment manufacturer, installer, end-customer) is insured by an insurance company in its own Member State. The origin of the fire is contested. Nobody wants to compensate the customer.

The customer decides to sue in Member State A for full compensation the heating equipment manufacturer, the heating equipment installer and the insurance companies in Member State A.


Costs of proceedings

Important points to note about the information provided

It should be noted that there are many influences that dictate the process and therefore costs involved in such a case in the courts in England and Wales, so it is not possible to give definitive costs and the matters included below are indicative only. Where possible actual fees have been included for certain aspects of the processes but these should be viewed as a guide only.

Court fees often depend on the tier of court used and the steps involved in the individual case, a full list of fees charged can be found at the Link opens in new windowwebsite of Her Majesty's Courts Service . Information will also be required on other cost sources, such as legal representation. The Link opens in new windowLaw Society and Link opens in new windowBar Council may be helpful in finding a legal representative, but they do not hold information on costs of legal representation as this will depend on many factors of the particular case concerned.

For the examples here, we assume that:

Case A:

  • The property and contents are damaged but not destroyed.  No-one is hurt.
  • The expected damages are between £50,000 and £100,000 and is defended by 4 defendants (manufacturer, installer and their insurers).
  • As the amount expected to claim for is in excess of £25,000 this will be a multi-track case and will attract a different hearing fee.
  • The hearing lasted 2 days.  Expert witnesses were called by all parties.

Case B:

  • As above. Member state A is the UK.

Note that:

  • Fees are correct as of May 2015. Court fees are subject to change, so you should always check with the court, legal representative and any other individuals or organisations who are involved that an amount is still the current fee.
  • You have to pay a court fee to start a court claim and pay further court fees at different stages of the court case.  The court fees will depend on how much your claim is for. You may qualify for a “fee remission” (depending on your personal circumstances) which means that you may not have to pay a court fee or only have to pay part of it. However, you have to apply for a separate remission for each fee payable throughout the court process. So, for example, applying for a remission when starting a claim would only give you the remission for that first “issuing” fee.  This is because your personal circumstances might change during the court action, and you might no longer be eligible for a remission later in the case. Or you might become eligible for a fee remission during the case.
  • There are also likely to be costs that you need to pay as your case goes forward. Costs might include legal fees, travel and accommodation, loss of earnings and witness costs. In some instances, at the end of the case, the court may decide that you also have to pay the costs of the other party to the case or they have to pay yours. If the court decides to make an order about costs at the end of the case the general rule is that the unsuccessful party will be ordered to pay the costs of the successful party, but the court may make a different order. The judge assesses the costs at the end of the case.  So, if you lose, you may have to pay the costs of the winning party. And even if you win, you may not get back all the costs that you have had to meet during the claim. Costs can vary considerably depending on the case.  There are some specific rules that apply on costs, depending on the particular court and procedures involved.

N/A is shown in the tables where the answer is Not Applicable and N/K is shown in the tables where the answer is Not Known.

 

Indicative costs in England & Wales

Indicative costs for court, appeals and alternative dispute resolution


Case Study

Court

Initial court fees

Transcription fees

Other fees

Case A

5% (4.5% if issued online) of the upper limit claimed – issue fee

£1090 hearing fee

Agreed between court reporter and appellant – max rate £1.63 per 72 words/min fee: £15.75

N/K

Case B

As above – issue fee

£1090 –hearing fee

Agreed between court reporter and appellant – max rate £1.63 per 72 words/min fee: £15.75

N/K

 


Case Study

Appeals

ADR

Initial court fees

Transcription fees

Other fees

Is this option open for this type of case?

Costs

Case A

£465 if permission not required

£235 if permission required

Further £235 if permission for an appeal hearing is granted

Agreed between court reporter and appellant – max rate £1.63 per 72 words/min fee: £15.75

N/K

Yes in theory, but probably unlikely in practice that the parties would agree to mediate

c. £1000 to £2000 per day shared between parties

Case B

£465 if permission not required (no further hearing fee is payable)

£235 if permission required

Further £235 if permission for an appeal hearing is granted

Agreed between court reporter and appellant – max rate £1.63 per 72 words/min fee: £15.75

N/K

Yes in theory, but probably unlikely in practice that the parties would agree to mediate

c. £1000 to £2000 per day shared between parties



Indicative costs for lawyer, bailiff and expert


Case Study

Lawyer

Bailiff

Expert

Is representation compulsory?

Average costs

Is representation compulsory?

Pre-judgement costs

Post-judgement costs

Is use compul-sory?

Cost

Case A

No

Including Solicitors and Barristers fees and disbursements.

The Link opens in new windowLaw Society and the Link opens in new windowBar Council may be helpful in finding a legal representative but they do not hold information on the costs of legal representation as this will depend on many factors of the particular case concerned.

Information about the role of bailiffs and enforcement officers in England & Wales can be found at: Link opens in new windowHer Majesty's Court Service (bailiffs)

See left

See left

No

No fixed costs – depends on expertise and detail of evidence required

Case B

No

As above, though there may be two sets of lawyers’ fees involved in cross-border hearings.

Bailiffs enforce only at national or local level.

See left

See left

No

No fixed costs – depends on expertise and detail of evidence required



Indicative costs for witness compensation, pledge or security and other relevant fees


Case

Study

Witness compensation

Pledge or security

Other fees

Are witnesses compensated?

Cost

Does this exist and when and how is it used?

Cost

Description

Cost

Case A

Yes – for travel expenses and for some witnesses (e.g. expert witnesses) attendance time

As agreed with the witness

Where an offer to settle is made by one of the parties and the court’s final award does not beat this offer, the unsuccessful party will not be required to pay the costs of the successful party from the date the offer was made.

Where an offer to settle is made by one of the parties and the courts final award does not beat this offer, the unsuccessful party will not be required to pay the costs of the successful party from the date the offer was made.

N/K

N/K

Case B

As above

As above

As above

As above

N/K

N/K



Indicative costs for legal aid and other reimbursement



Case

study

Legal Aid

When and under what conditions is it applicable?

When is support total?

Conditions?

Case A

As long as the case is heard in England and Wales, the normal means and merits tests apply (see section on Legal Aid).

See section on Legal Aid

See section on Legal Aid

Case B

As long as the case is heard in England and Wales, the usual means and merits tests will apply.

See section on Legal Aid

See section on Legal Aid

 



Case

study

Reimbursement

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

If reimbursement is not total, what is the percentage in general?

What costs are never reimbursed?

Are there instances when legal aid should be reimbursed to the legal aid organisation?

Case A

The court generally orders the winning partys’ costs to be paid by the losing party. Where the amount of costs is challenged, they maybe assessed by the court.

N/A

N/A

Clients may be liable to pay a contribution depending on their income and capital. (See Case 1A)

Case B

As above

N/A

N/A

[See above]



Indicative costs for translation and interpretation


Case

study

Translation

Interpretation

Other costs specific to cross-border disputes?

When and under what conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost?

Description

Approximate cost?

Case A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Case B

Documents produced or served with a claim in England & Wales require an English translation, and documents may be required to be translated Member States’ language if required.

Depends on the provider. No court translation service is provided.

Where any party requires it to understand the proceedings

Depends on the provider.

See also section on Translators and Interpreters Fees

N/K

N/K


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Last update: 26/06/2019