Fast track limit to be raised to £25,000, while fixed fees put on hold.

In its long-awaited personal injury report the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said the fast track limit for claims should be increased to £25,000 while the small claims limit for personal injury claims would remain at £1,000.

The MoJ said it was not convinced by the argument that increasing the small claims limit would remove the high legal costs that are paid out in low-value claims.

The MoJ said: “The paper concludes that the current limit of £1000 should remain, on the basis that the claims process can be improved to provide for fair compensation in a more efficient and cost-effective way. It is considered that this approach provides a better balance between the rights of claimants and defendants.”

But it said it remains of the view that raising the fast track limit will provide greater flexibility and result in more cases being heard in the appropriate track.

Meanwhile, the government has held off establishing a new fixed fee claims process and will engage in further consultation.

It said: “Respondents both for and against fixed costs agreed that it was vital that the costs were fixed in an independent and transparent way and regularly reviewed and or increased. The government agrees with this approach.

“Following a recommendation from the Civil Justice Council, in September 2007 the government announced the establishment of the Advisory Committee on Civil Costs. Part of the committee’s programme of work is to provide advice on what the fixed recoverable costs should be. We will work with relevant stakeholders to identify the processes that need to be followed, the level of fee earner that should carry out the work and the amount of time it should take.”

Click here: The MoJ report