What do I need to do in the case of small claim?
Where there is a dispute involving a relatively small amount of money, the cases are heard in small claims courts. When the court is considering whether to allocate a case to the small claims track, it will take into account a number of factors, but the main factor is the financial value of the case.
The amount at stake will be up to £10,000, except:
(i) if it is a personal injury claim, where it will be allocated to the small claims track only if the value of the claim for the personal injuries themselves is not more than £1,000; or
(ii) a tenant is claiming against a landlord, where the amount of damages or cost of repairs or work to the premises must not exceed £1,000 to be allocated to the small claims track.
What types of cases are handled by small claims courts?
The most common types of claim in the small claims track are:
- contractual disputes
- compensation for faulty goods and services
- disputes between landlords and tenants
- employment disputes, including wages owed or money in lieu of notice.
Small claims courts are deliberately organised to make it easy for individuals to complete the forms and to represent themselves at any court hearing. However, life is never quite as straightforward as that, especially where matters of law are concerned. Seeking the advice of a direct public access barrister will help you to understand the strength of your case, how the procedure works and to prepare yourself properly for any court hearing.
Should I try mediation?
Note: you must try and settle a claim before taking court action where a small claim is involved. If you do not try to settle first, the court may penalise you. You may be able to sort out your claim by using mediation if the other party agrees. This is where an impartial third party, called a mediator, helps both parties to reach a mutually agreeable solution to a problem.
In small claims the situations in which it is possible to recover your legal costs from the other side if you are successful are limited. Accordingly, it is advisable to try and reduce the level of your legal costs throughout the process. The advantage of using a direct public access barrister is that you can instruct them to undertake specific parts of the legal process, whilst you can do some parts (if you wish), which should help to reduce your legal costs.
Why should I choose a barrister?
Barristers are experts in the law. They are best placed to advise you on your legal position, draft legal documents and, if required, represent you in court. Start your search and you'll be in direct contact within minutes with a direct public access barrister who is expert in small claims matters.