Small Claims Hearings

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SMALL CLAIMS TRACK

In all cases under £5000, if a Defence is filed and the case is to be defended all the way to a Hearing then the case will be dealt with by means of the Small Claims Track.

Directions for the Small Claims Procedure will be given automatically by the Court and so will a date for the Hearing.

Although the Small Claims procedure is deliberately designed for laymen or Litigants in Person as they are referred to, and proceedings are less informal than others, you do nonetheless have to have your wits about you.

You may or may not want legal representation on the day of the hearing itself.

However, it should be borne in mind that under current legislation no costs for legal representation can be recovered from your opponent, although other expenses such as the cost of travelling to the court, any overnight accommodation and loss of earnings whilst attending the hearing may be considered.

Due to our relationship with Barristers’ clerks in England and Wales we can arrange for you to have that representation by counsel of a suitable seniority at rates that have been negotiated by us on your behalf.

We favour the instruction of barristers as they are specialist advocates. Quite often junior barristers can appear on your behalf at an agreed brief fee which is a substantial reduction in cost when compared to the cost of instructing a law firm who charge hourly rates.

Whether you have legal representation or not, you now have to formally prove to a District Judge that "on the balance of probabilities", yours, the Claimant, is the correct version of events in the proceedings in that for example you delivered the goods or services, that they were not defective or that they performed correctly and that you are entitled to payment. This is by no means difficult because you will have invoices and you will be able to prove that the defendant has made no complaint before now, or at least not until you sued and then a "dispute" arose.

If you wish to send somebody from your Company, then it should be someone of suitable seniority within the Company who is not going to be overwhelmed by the sense of occasion and have rings run around them by the other side. They must also be able to put your version of events across to the District Judge in a clear and reasoned manner. It is also important that they do not let the Defendant frustrate them, no matter what flannel or spurious arguments have been raised by them.

We would always encourage you to consider the merit of having a barrister to represent you. After all if there is £3,500 due to you and a barrister has agreed a brief fee of £250, that is a small sum to pay for peace of mind and the quality of representation that you will receive.

Just remember, there is no point in going to court and losing.

Call Veritas Legal Debt Recovery Services on Exeter 01392 498686 or Torquay 01803 617077
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