Fixed Costs October 2023: Using Proclaim to Adapt to Reforms

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The new fixed recoverable costs regime is due to come into force in October 2023, and will bring a range of changes to civil litigation in England and Wales. Fixed costs are also due to come into force for clinical negligence claims in April 2024. Updating and developing your Proclaim claims management system can help your firm to adapt to these new changes.

Access Group are offering a new bolt-on for your Proclaim system which will help fee earners to calculate the level of fixed costs in a case quickly and easily. Legal Practice Support can further assist law firms who have the bolt-on installed in making the system more bespoke to their firm.


Fixed costs October 2023 – An overview on the reforms


The reason behind the Fixed Costs October 2023 reforms has been to control the costs of civil litigation and to provide more predictability in the cost of legal services for litigants. Sir Rupert Jackson, a former Court of Appeal judge, had previously reviewed this area and had proposed the expansion of fixed costs in his reports.

Outlined below is an overview of some of the main points related to fixed recoverable costs (FRC) reforms as they stood:

  • Expansion of the Fast Track: One of the key proposals of the reforms was to expand the range of cases allocated the Fast Track which would be subject to fixed costs. The Fast Track is designed for simpler, less complex cases. Under the reforms, more types of cases and higher value cases could be pulled into this track and thus be subject to the fixed costs regime.
  • Introduction of an ‘Intermediate Track’: This was a proposal to create a new track for claims up to a certain value which would be subject to fixed costs but which do not fit easily into the existing Fast Track. Cases in this track will be valued between £25,000 and £100,000, allocating cases in excess of £100,000 to the multi track.
  • Sliding scale of costs and complexity bands: Another proposal was to introduce a sliding scale of fixed recoverable costs depending on the value and complexity of the claim. This means that as the value and complexity of the claim increases, the fixed costs would also increase but at a predetermined rate.
  • Cost capping in Judicial Review Cases: Judicial review cases could also see the introduction of cost capping, which would provide more predictability for litigants in these types of proceedings.
  • Transparency and predictability: A key goal of the reforms was to provide more transparency and predictability in litigation costs. This would ideally make it easier for parties to budget for litigation and to make informed decisions about pursuing or defending a claim.

The criteria for applying the new regulations vary based on the nature of the case:

  • For personal injury claims, the new guidelines are applicable only when the cause of action accrues on or after 1st October 2023.
  • In cases related to diseases, the new regulations will take effect if a letter of claim hasn’t been dispatched prior to 1st October 2023.
  • For standard civil claims, the updated rules are relevant to claims where proceedings are issued on or post 1st October 2023.

The classification of claims into complexity bands for the fast track (excluding those related to noise-induced hearing loss claims) is detailed in table 12 under Practice Direction 45.

The bands for intermediate track complexities are outlined in table 14 of Practice Direction 45.

  • Complexity band 1 pertains to claims with a singular dispute issue, anticipated to have a trial duration of not more than a day. This encompasses personal injury claims where either the quantum or liability is contested, non-personal injury RTA claims, and defended debt claims.
  • Complexity band 2 relates to relatively straightforward claims with multiple issues in contention. It includes personal injury cases where both quantum and liability are challenged.
  • Complexity band 3 refers to more intricate claims having multiple points of contention, which aren’t fit for placement in complexity band 2.
  • Complexity band 4 encompasses highly complex claims that don’t align with bands 1 through 3. It involves personal injury claims presenting significant legal or factual challenges.

As an illustration, the costs for Stage 1 (spanning from pre-issue to the defence service date) for a claim falling within the intermediate track’s complexity band 3 would be £6,400 plus an additional 8% of the damages.


The new Proclaim bolt-on


When the new fixed recoverable costs rules come into force, it is likely that many law firms will struggle to adapt. Updating your case management system to make it easier to run cases under the new regime is one way to assist your firm in adapting to the changes.

Access Group are now offering a new bolt-on for your Proclaim system which can streamline your approach to calculating the level of fixed costs in a case using the tables and complexity bands outlined above.

This will greatly assist fee earners in running these types of cases, saving them time and frustration in working out the costs of the case due to the complex nature of the newly introduced tables under Practice Direction 45.


How Legal Practice Support can assist


Adding the new fixed costs bolt on should be the first step in streamlining your Proclaim case management system to adapt to the fixed costs October 2023 reforms. Legal Practice Support can further assist law firms who have the bolt-on installed in making the system more bespoke to their firm.

Legal Practice Support can further develop your system through:

We are skilled in developing and optimising your case management system to fit 100% with your business needs. If you would like to find out more about law firm software integration and how a Software Developer from the Legal Practice Support team could assist your firm, or to find out more about our software development agreements, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Our development team can be contacted via e-mail at, or get in touch with us via Live Chat or the contact form below.


Satisfied client stories

"Since we first began utilising the services of Legal Practice Support, we have seen a dramatic improvement in the capabilities of our Proclaim system. The system has seen substantial enhancements with regards to automation; tasks that previously could take staff hours, can now be completed within minutes."

Mark Brierley

Director, Beacon Law

"Prior to their (Legal Practice Support) involvement, we had little to no reporting; and what we did have was generally manually accumulated data on spreadsheets. Since Legal Practice Support began enhancing our system, they have enabled us to receive key management information as and when required, which allows us to evaluate key areas of the business, as well as provide overviews of fee earners' case progression and their performance amongst other things."

Mr L Ali

Director, Hunter Price Khan

" We have had the out of the box Proclaim system for many years, and whilst we were content with its performance, it wasn't until we utilised the services of Legal Practice Support to help streamline and automate our workflows that we really saw its potential to save time and money by maximising the efficiency of our workflows."


Yasar Ali

Clarity Solicitors

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