Since 1st October 2023, the Government alongside HM Courts and Tribunals Service have implemented a fourth track to the pre-existing ‘three track’ civil court case management system, known as the ‘Intermediate Track’.

The track, to which a court case is allocated, determines a number of factors including the likely amount of time your claim will take to reach a final hearing or ‘trial’, the level of the hearing judge dealing with your claim and the length of time given for a trial. Crucially, allocation to track also determines the amount of costs and disbursements that the losing party can likely expect to pay to the winning party.

Civil claims are typically allocated to tracks based upon their value (save for some other general factors which are detailed at Civil Procedure Rule (CPR) 26.13) as follows:

  • Small Claims Track – less than £10,000
  • Fast Track – between £10,000 and £25,000
  • Intermediate Track – between £25,000 and £100,000
  • Multi-Track – £100,000 plus (previously £25,000 plus)

Intermediate Track claims are typically suitable for cases which: (1) are valued between £25,000 to £100,000; (2) require not more than two expert witnesses; and (3) can be disposed of at a trial lasting no more than three days.

A distinct feature of this track is that it further restricts legal costs and disbursements by way of four complexity bands. The determination of complexity band is based on the number (and complexity) of the disputed issue(s) and also the expected length of a trial. These bands are determined at the discretion of the Judge at the outset of the proceedings.

In the new Intermediate Track, the amount of legal costs and disbursements recoverable from your opponent vary between complexity bands, and will depend upon  the stage of the proceedings at the time of settlement, which are set out in greater detail at Table 14 of Practice Direction 45 (CPR).

It is hoped the new Intermediate Track will help provide certainty over costs and allow parties to feel confident in participating in civil proceedings, and to shift focus onto cases being dealt with efficiently and proportionately, with no nasty surprises at the end.

At Oglethorpe, Sturton & Gillibrand, we understand the anxiety that exists around incurring costs and disbursements in the event of any litigation. We are experts in resolving property, agriculture, probate and commercial disputes. If you have a legal dispute but are worried about the cost of litigation, contact us today for a no-obligation discussion.

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