An Introduction to Small Claims
The small claims process provides litigants with a procedure that can be used to bring low value claims.
It is important to be aware that whilst the “small claims court” is often referred to, there is in fact no separate court for small claims. Instead, “small claims court” is used to describe the procedure that is followed for small claims.
So what is a small claim? Contrary to popular belief, small claims are actually claims of up to £10,000. Litigants are usually able to apply online, and often there is a small discount on the court fee if the online process is used. The court issue fee will be between £25 and £455 depending on the value of the claim and whether the claim is issued online.
The small claims process is intended to be relatively simple so that litigants-in-person are able to run small claims themselves without the need to engage lawyers if they feel comfortable doing so. As a result, with the exception of court fees, legal fees are generally not recoverable in small claims, even if you are successful.
Nonetheless, whilst it can sometimes be uneconomic to instruct solicitors to run the claim (unless it is undefended), we can provide ad hoc support to assist clients as and when they need it throughout the small claims process. This “pay as you go” service allows clients to ask questions about the procedure or how to present their case, but ensures that costs are kept proportionate to the value of the claim. Further still, fixed fees are also available for undisputed debt claims (such as unpaid invoices) to keep costs proportionate.
For advice or information about the small claims process, please contact our friendly team on 01582 514000 or on [email protected]