Ministry of Justice and HMCTS launch court fee refund scheme


The Ministry of Justice and HMCTS have launched a court fee refund scheme, following a review in July 2018, in which it was discovered that court fees in certain proceedings had been charged above full cost recovery levels.

The refund scheme identifies court fees that have been overcharged (where the fee was set above cost), or mischarged (where the wrong fee was charged or where no charges should have been made at all). A list of the overcharged and mischarged fees is set out in Application for full or partial refund of court fees – Guidance document.

In relation to overcharged fees, a refund can only be claimed if one or more of the fees was paid between 22 April 2014 and 31 March 2018. The amount that will be refunded depends on when the fee was paid. A refund on mischarged fees can only be claimed in the circumstances described in the Guidance document.

The affected court fees include:

  • Specified Magistrates’ court fees, including commencing an appeal under the Licensing Act 2003, and an application for a warrant for commitment made in proceedings under the Child Support Act 1991.
  • Insolvency proceedings fees, specifically an application by consent or without notice within insolvency proceedings and an application with notice within insolvency proceedings.
  • Specified civil proceedings fees, including in relation to filing a request for detailed assessment of costs in the Court of Protection, the appointment and daily hearing fees of a judge of the Commercial Court or a judge of the Technology and Construction Court appointed as an arbitrator under section 93 of the Arbitration Act 1996, and an application for the restoration of a company to the register under section 1029 of the Companies Act 2006.
  • Specified Court of Protection fees relating to applications, appeals and hearings.

A refund can only be claimed where the fee was paid directly to the court, or where a party was ordered to pay their opponent’s court fees.

Applications must be made using the form Application for full or partial refund of court fees. Guidance on how to fill out the form is set out in Guidance: Claim a court fee refund. Interest on refunds will be paid at a flat rate of 0.5%.

The aim is that applications will be processed within 20 working days of receipt of a completed form.

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The content of this update is for the purpose of providing general legal information. It does not constitute legal advice from a solicitor and should not be treated as such.