Fifty four of the 216 county courts in England and Wales would be cut

Insurers have been warned that they could face higher claims costs if the government presses ahead with its planned radical cut to the courts network.

Last week, the Ministry of Justice announced proposals to axe 54 of the 216 county courts operating in England and Wales.

It says that many courts are “underused and inadequate” and “do not reflect recent changes in population, workload, or transport and communication links”.

Law firm Weightmans commercial insurance partner Peter Forshaw expressed concerns that the changes could increase costs. “The further people have to travel, the more likely it is that you are going to see costs increase. If you cut the number of courts and don’t improve the technology, costs will rise.”

But he said that bigger courts were more efficient at processing cases because they had a greater range of expertise.