As a party litigant (a party without a solicitor) you are entitled to be paid for your time (expenses) working on your case. The basic rule - that the successful party is entitled to recover legal expenses from the other side - usually applies.

Statutory limits

Current rules provide:

  • value of claim £300 or less - no expenses recoverable
  • value of claim £300 to £1,500 - £150 maximum recoverable
  • value of claim £1,501 to £3,000 - maximum recoverable is 10% of the value of the claim
  • value of claim £3,001 to £5,000 - uncapped recoverable

Expenses calculation

If uncapped expenses are awarded, the court often requires an account of expenses to be submitted in advance of attendance at an expenses hearing. An account of expenses is a calculation of relevant work carried out - including court hearings and correspondence - to make sure that only legitimate expenses are awarded.

The expenses recoverable are calculated by way of a table of fees and can be found here. Instead of cash figures in the tables we now have units, with a unit currently worth £16.40.

The court assesses the level of expenses (if any) that should be awarded to a party and sends notice of that assessment to the parties before the expenses hearing.

10% deduction

For cases started on and after 29 April 2019, 10% must always be deducted from the expenses figure in situations where the court assesses a submitted account.

Additional deductions

The 10% deduction is not the only deduction to bear in mind.

The court has discretion to ignore the usual statutory caps mentioned above for a number of reasons, including a party behaving unreasonably (i.e. failing to comply with court orders).

In these situations, where the total value of the claim is £2,500 or less, and the court has ignored the usual statutory caps and ordered an account of expenses to submitted for assessment, then the account figure as already deducted by 10%, needs to be further deducted:

  • by 50% if value of the claim is less than £1,000; or
  • by 25% if value of claim is £1,000 to £2,500