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Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings) (Scotland) Act 2018

Section 4 – Power to cap success fees

11.Section 4 confers powers on the Scottish Ministers, through regulations subject to the affirmative procedure (see section 24(2)), to stipulate the maximum amount of the success fee provided for under a success fee agreement. It is intended that the power will be used to set the maximum amount of the success fee as a percentage of the damages, based on a sliding scale dependant on the size of the damages payment. By virtue of section 24(1)(b), regulations may include different provision for different purposes. The regulations created under section 4 can therefore set different caps for different types of civil proceedings.

12.Subsections (3) and (4) provide that, if another enactment provides for the restriction of the amount of the success fee, the maximum fee that is allowed will be the lower of either the amount allowed in accordance with that other enactment or the amount allowed under the regulations under this section. An example of another enactment restricting the amount of a success fee is the Act of Sederunt (Fees of Solicitors in Speculative Actions) 1992(11), which allows for a 100% fee uplift in certain cases. More generally, an example of a restriction made in accordance with an enactment would include professional rules made by a legal services or claims management regulator.

13.Subsection (5) provides that a success fee agreement is unenforceable to the extent that it provides for a success fee that is higher than the fee allowed for in regulations made under this section.


An “Act of sederunt” is a type of delegated legislation passed by the Court of Session to regulate civil procedure in the Court of Session, the Sheriff Appeal Court and the sheriff court.

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