The court made the warning after two neighbours incurred hundreds of thousands of pounds in legal costs, arguing over a noise dispute, in the matter of Coventry v Lawrence.
The President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger stated, “These figures are very disturbing. They give rise to grave concern. … The fact that it can cost two citizens £400,000 in legal fees and disbursements to establish and enforce their right to live in peace in their home is on any view highly regrettable.”
He added “It would be wrong for this court not to express its grave concern about the base costs in this case, and express the hope that those responsible for civil justice in England and Wales are considering what further steps can be taken to ensure better access to justice”.
Litigation can be expensive. Steps should be taken to resolve disputes before going to court and at the very least a letter setting out the claim should be sent to the other side, giving them a reasonable time to respond.