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Bar Council responds to Cameron's small business manifesto

Bar Council responds to Cameron's small business manifesto

Bar Council | Bar Council

2 min read Partner content

In light of the Conservative party's small business manifesto,Chantal-Aime Doerries QC, Chairman-Elect of the Bar, said:

“The Coalition government rightly introduced a number of important initiatives, mainly through the work of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, which put small business at the heart of the UK economy. However, one of the main challenges small businesses in the UK face is cash-flow problems caused by late payments. That same Coalition government which looked so favourably on small businesses from one perspective, has done very little to help small businesses tackle the problem of late payments from customers. In fact, earlier this year, the Ministry of Justice actively made it harder for small enterprises to pursue money owed to them through the courts by imposing a 5 per cent court fee on claims of up to £200,000. In many cases, small businesses will simply not be able to afford the court fee and late payers will get away with not paying the money they owe. The maximum fee is to be increased by 420%, from £1,920 to £10,000.  The fee payable for a claim of £200,000 is to be increased by 660%, from £1,315 to £10,000.

“Many family-run businesses know that court proceedings are available, if they need them, to ensure that they are paid for their services and products. This move will effectively take that option away from many smaller businesses. We've heard the stories about commercial giants, such as supermarkets, taking their time to pay smaller suppliers. The court fee increase acts as a deterrent for smaller companies to challenge their larger customers.”

Read the most recent article written by Bar Council - Bar Council calls on Ministry of Justice to urgently halt jury trials

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