Small Claims – Claims up to £10,000

Have you have already completed your Directions Questionnaire, and your case has been allocated to the small claims track?

If so, Mercian Law can help.

Your notice of allocation gives you directions, which includes:

  • Instructions to file and serve supporting documents including witness statements
  • Permission to use an expert
  • Information about small claims mediation
  • Hearing date and length
  • Hearing fee
  • One party to clarify their case by delivering certain documents or information to the court

Only the party bringing the claim or counterclaim pays the hearing fee.  If the hearing fee isn’t paid the hearing will not go ahead.

Failure to comply with court directions may result in a case being adjourned and the person at fault must pay costs. 

Sometimes the judge may list a small claim for a preliminary hearing.  This happens when:

  • The claim requires unusual steps that the judge wants to explain in person
  • The judge feels either the claim or defence has no real prospects or grounds and wants to close the case without requirement for a final hearing

Sometimes the claim will not be listed for a final hearing and a notice of allocation to the small claims tack (no hearing) will be sent.  This is when a case can be decided on written evidence alone. 

You do not have to attend a small claim hearing as it will be dealt with in your absence.  Mercian Law strongly advises against this.  We can arrange for an advocate to attend with you if you feel unable to present the case yourself.

The hearing date can be changed but will require an application to be made and a court fee payable. 

Generally, small claims are less formal and are dealt with in chambers but sometimes they can be in a courtroom.  Usually the claimant then the defendant speaks, and each side can ask questions.

If you lose your case and you want to appeal, at the end of the hearing permission to appeal must be sought giving proper reasons and not just that you feel the decision was wrong.

If you failed to attend the hearing and hadn’t arranged for representation, with good reason for being absent you could apply for a set aside of the decision.  Speak to Mercian Law if you are considering making such an application.

  • Object to allocation to the small claims track (no hearing)
  • Arrange an advocate to attend any preliminary hearings
  • Request from you and make payment of hearing fee
  • Preparation of hearing bundle
  • Formatting of witness statements for signature (once drafted by witness)
  • Instructing expert witness (if permission granted by court for expert to be used)
  • Filing at court and serving upon other side all documentation
  • Arrange for an advocate to attend the final hearing with you
  • Make an application to move hearing date
  • Advise and assist on set aside application
  • Any written contract or agreement & details of any breaches
  • Photographs
  • List of items complained about
  • List of any outstanding items
  • Any relevant estimate, order, invoice or receipt
  • Calculation or amount outstanding including any amounts received with any supporting documents
  • Draft witness statements, detailing:
    • The background to the claim
    • How the witness knows the parties
    • What was agreed and what went wrong
    • A chronology of what happened and when
    • The impact of what went wrong
    • What was done to solve the problem if anything

If you do not have all these please tell us as it may have an impact on what options are available to you.