Thursday 3 March 2016

Attending court as a witness

A witness is someone who can provide evidence relevant to a case being dealt with in court. 

Before the trial of the case, you may be contacted by legal representatives of the party who wish to call you as a witness. They may wish to obtain a written statement from you about what you have seen, heard or otherwise observed something that may assist the court in deciding a case.

If you have been asked to attend court to give evidence, you may claim a fixed amount of expenses:

Nazmin Chowdhury Garden House Solicitors
Article by
Nazmin Chowdhury
The expenses you can claim are as follows:
  • Travelling expenses to and from the court – the standard or second class fare for bus and train fares.
  • Travel by motor vehicle is paid at a rate of 25p per mile.
  • Exceptional costs such as taxi fares are allowed in circumstances where this was the only form of transport available or if a witness is disabled or infirm.
  • Allowance for refreshments and meals -  £2.25 for up to 5 hours, or £4.50 for 5 to 10 hours.
  • Claims can be made for loss of earnings for witnesses who are employed or self-employed - £33.50 for up to 4 hours, or £67 for longer (£42.95 or £85.90 if you’re self-employed).
  • There are no childcare facilities at court buildings so witnesses can claim expenses for childcare and babysitting at a fixed rate of £67.00 per day.
(Please note that this may be subject to changes and further information can be found on

What if I attend court as a witness but do not give evidence?
Witnesses who attend court to give evidence are eligible to claim their expenses whether or not they actually give evidence. The only exception to this would be a witness who attends but refuses to give evidence will not be entitled to claim expenses.

You should ask a court official for an expenses form when you go to court.
Witnesses will normally have received a witness expense claim together with their warning notice. The claim form should have been accompanied by a “current rates” leaflet, giving information on the maximum amounts claimable.

If you have been asked to attend court as a witness and have any queries relating to claiming expenses, please feel free to contact me on 01992 422128 or email

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Garden House Solicitors, Witness expenses

Tel: 01992 422 128

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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