The government has introduced an amendment to the civil fees schedule which will have effect from 6 March 2017.
The amendment changes the timescales for payment of the hearing fee. Where the court gives at least 36 days notice of the trial date or trial period, the fee is payable at least 28 days before the trial date or first Monday of the trial period. Where the court gives less notice, the hearing fee is payable within 7 days of receipt of the notice.
More significantly the system of full or part refunds of the hearing fee for cases which settle or discontinue after payment but before trial is being ended.
The amendment has no effect in cases where notice of the trial date or trial period is given prior to 6 March 2017.