Dispute Resolution – Small Claims

If the debt related to your dispute is worth not more than £10,000 it will be assigned to the Small Claims Track (SCT). The SCT is a simpler, less formal proceeding than full-blown litigation. Despite this, for the most part, the Court has the same powers when it comes to granting remedies.

Proceedings under the SCT are governed by Part 27 of the Civil Procedure Rules. The advantage of using our Debt-Claims Solicitors portal, backed up by a firm of Solicitors with over 30 years of experience, is that we have specialist Dispute Resolution Solicitors who have an in-depth knowledge of these rules and understand the tactics and strategies required to win a claim. We use best-in-class technology and have a robust success rate in winning SCT cases relating to unpaid debts.

Can I represent myself if my case is allocated to the SCT?

Due to balancing legal costs and the amount of money you are likely to receive if the debt-related dispute is resolved and the invoice paid, many people choose to represent themselves. The Civil Justice Council (CJC) provides a publication called A Guide to Bringing and Defending a Small Claim aimed at assisting litigants in person understand and action the process for bringing and defending a small claim.

Even if you plan to represent yourself it is important to invest in some initial legal advice. As a regulated law firm, we have a duty to inform you of the risks of bringing a claim on the SCT, the main one being that only limited costs are recoverable. You can trust that we will inform you as to whether it is in your best interests and cost-effective to instruct us. We can also advise you on Alternative Dispute Resolution methods which may provide a more suitable way for you to resolve your debt-related dispute.

What is the Small Claims Mediation Service?

If you decide to take a Debtor to Court, you will be asked to fill in a Directions Questionnaire. This will be used to decide whether or not to allocate your claim to the SCT. The Directions Questionnaire will also ask whether you wish to try mediation to resolve your dispute. If you and the Debtor answer yes, the claim will be referred to the Small Claims Mediation Service.

A Mediator will phone each party separately and ascertain both sides of the claim. They will then phone each party separately and relay each parties’ comments to try and facilitate an agreement.

Everything that is said during the mediation is confidential and neither you nor the Debtor can refer to it in any subsequent hearing. Should an agreement regarding the disputed debt be achieved it will be recorded in a Mediation Agreement which is placed on the Court file. The case is then suspended for three months. If the terms of the Mediation Agreement are breached by you or the debtor, you can reinstate Court proceedings. After three months, the claim will be struck out. Alternatively, the party not in breach of the agreement can apply for a judgment instead of reinstating the claim.

Want to find out more about the Small Claims Track? If so, please register here.

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