You have until 6 June 2019 to respond to the MoJ consultation on the government's proposals for the extension of fixed recoverable costs in civil cases.
The proposals are intended to implement recommendations made by Sir Rupert Jackson. The government largely agrees with those recommendations, but it does not agree with the principle of a new intermediate track, with the costs and complexity that that would involve. Rather, it proposes:
1. Extending FRC to all other cases valued up to £25,000 in damages in the fast track.
2. Expanding the current fast track to include cases valued £25,000–£100,000 in damages.
Subject to the response to the consultation, the government will implement the reforms proposed in the document through an amendment to the CPRs and then keep the amendments under review.
The government regards Sir Rupert's recommendations as an incremental next step. Once the reforms have bedded in, it will be for consideration whether and how FRC should be extended to cover more cases, such as higher value claims, Part 8 claims, and the costs incurred before the first costs and case management conference in cases which are not otherwise subject to FRC.
Concerns have been expressed by several bodies, including the Law Society and ACL, about the need for a more rigorous statistical base and empirical evidence before deciding whether to extend fixed costs.
The Ministry of Justice will consult on expanding the fast track and prescribing the costs that can be clawed back from the losing party, with reference to a pre-determined grid. Clinical negligence cases and claims in the business and property courts are excluded from the new proposals, but all other civil claims in the fast track are intended to come into scope.