From today, if you have a claim with a value of £250,000 or less, you may be able to take advantage of the new Capped Costs List (CCL) which caps the amount of litigation costs you have to pay your opponent if you lose (and vice versa).
The total cap is £80,000 plus VAT and court fees. What you pay your own lawyers is not capped, but the procedure is streamlined which should help to keep these costs down. If you’ve managed to beat your Part 36 settlement offer the cap is increased to £100,000, and if you’ve displayed unreasonable behaviour then the court could disapply the cap completely. It’s only available in certain courts however, and it is not suitable for cases which will need a trial lasting more than 2 days, or which involve an allegation of fraud or dishonesty, or numerous issues and parties.
It is also not suitable for cases which are likely to require extensive disclosure of documents or reliance on extensive witness or expert evidence. All the parties have to agree to the CCL being used, but the advantage of the costs certainty should be very attractive to litigants.