Small Claims Matters
If you are considering making a small claim or have had a claim made against you, Legal Peace will be able to expertly assist with the next steps.
The small claims court deals with claims up to a monetary value of £10,000. However, many litigants and prospective litigants are not aware that the rules on costs in the small claims court limit the costs recoverable by a victorious party, except in very exceptional circumstances. The general position is that the small claims rules do not allow you to recover your legal costs even if you win, except for out-of-pocket expenses such as court fees and witness costs. This therefore limits access to justice when people do not understand the process, want to pay for legal representation but are prevented from doing so because they will not get their costs back which can potentially amount to thousands of pounds.small claims
The small claims court is there to resolve low-scale disputes between people and businesses.
Below are some examples
Unpaid bills, fines, loans or debts
Unfulfilled warranties or unsatisfactory quality of goods and services supplied e.g. for vehicles, household appliances or white goods
Careless or sub-standard building work
To speak to our team of small claims court solicitors, contact us and complete the enquiry form and we’ll be in touch. As Litigation specialists we are ready to help you resolve the civil dispute you are facing efficiently and effectively, with our friendly, straight-talking approach.
How to Make a Claim in the Small Claims Court
A small claims court action can be started either online or through the post, and the claimant will be required to pay a court fee. The cost of this will depend on the amount you are claiming for but if your claim is successful the defendant can be ordered to return these costs to you. If you are unsure how a judge is likely to view your claim, Legal Peace is able to advise on whether it is likely to be successful before you proceed. Often, the best way to do that is by having a Fixed Fee Meeting. We will ask you to provide all your paperwork in advance and a qualified solicitor will advise you accordingly on your prospects of success.
Companies are often willing to make a financial settlement before the claim reaches the court stage but there is also a chance that they will submit a defence and fight the claim made against them.
In the event that a defence has been filed against your claim, the court will send you a copy of the defence to ensure that you are kept fully informed. The court will then ask you to complete a directions questionnaire, at which time we strongly recommend that you seek legal advice on how to complete that and on the likely court procedure the parties will need to comply with up to a trial.
What to Do If You Are Being Sued in the Small Claims Court
You must file an acknowledgment of the service you provided within 14 days of receiving notice that proceedings have been issued against you, and your defence must be submitted within 28 days of the initial notice. If you don’t adhere to these timings then it is likely that the claimant will request the court to enter judgment against you in default for the full amount of the claim plus costs. It is advisable to contact us as soon as you are notified of the claim against you and ideally before you receive a letter threatening court action. This will help us to act swiftly on your behalf, compiling an effective defence and entering into negotiations with the other party to find a positive resolution for you before the case even reaches court.
Will I Need Legal Representation in a Small Claims Court?
Whilst legal representation is not essential for the small claims court, it is beneficial to have a solicitor to advise and support you with some of the more daunting elements of the process, help explain any technical or legal jargon and assist you with the various forms and documents.
It is also particularly useful for us to guide you on the merits of making or defending a claim at the outset, ideally before the opposing party has launched proceedings. This can help you to avoid unnecessary costs and wasting valuable time if you are unlikely to have a valid case. This is where we can add real value and will give you clear and honest advice about your legal position.
Legal Peace can offer small claims court guidance on a fixed fee so that you know, in advance, what your costs will be.
Commercial Disputes & Claims settled in The Small Claims Court
All too often business owners will be told that “small claims” cases are “too expensive” or “disproportionate” to pursue through the courts. Often though, those debts you are chasing are significant sums of money for your business and may have a serious impact on the business or its cash flow if not recovered.
That is why we help businesses to settle disputes with an exclusive Small Claims fixed-fee service. We aim to give you the advice and assistance your business needs, without the prohibitive costs that are usually involved.
We can act for you or your business in the ‘Small Claims Court’ for a fixed fee, which will vary depending on the level of assistance you require from us. In short, 3 levels of assistance are offered:
Basic – well suited to especially low-value claims, or for people who have some prior experience of the Small Claims Court and require only minimal assistance;
Standard – this will be suitable for most Small Claims cases; or
Superior – for complicated cases, with multiple witnesses, complex legal issues, or a counterclaim perhaps, or for people with no prior knowledge of the Small Claims Court.
Although the small claims court is designed to be a straightforward and cost-effective way of allowing you to either claim any money or compensation you are owed or defend any such claims, complications during the conduct of the proceedings can sometimes arise, potentially costing you time and expense.
The Solicitors at Legal Peace can help you navigate the process, assisting with your case in its entirety or simply the parts where you feel you need additional support. We have a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes for our clients involved in small claims proceedings, whether as claimants or as defendants.
We pride ourselves on delivering a personalised and friendly service, which will put you at your ease (hence our name) and help you to feel as relaxed as possible throughout the legal process. We are highly responsive and easily contactable so that you don’t have to wait for the answers that you need. We are friendly, pro-active and commercially astute. We’re good at what we do and we genuinely want to help with your dispute and achieve the results you deserve.
We understand that the limitation on recovering legal fees in small claims matters can be off-putting but don’t let this deter you from obtaining the best advice to maximise your chance of success.
For more information on how we can help call us today or complete our online enquiry form for a quick response from a member of our team.
How to get started
Legal matters can be a daunting process for many, so its reassuring to have peace of mind with Legal Peace on your side. We are human just like you, so have made it simple to get things started.
You may know the type of help you need, or unsure where to start. Great news, you are in the right place.
We will listen to your query and be able to offer free impartial advice.