If there has been a dispute that cannot be resolved, whether in correspondence or by formal mediation, then often court intervention is the only solution. This is usually the case where there is a disagreement between the parties and only a court can determine the outcome. Three Graces Legal understands that court proceedings can be expensive, and so we always strive to settle disputes without the need for court intervention. However, where court action is unavoidable, we will strive to make the process as efficient and straightforward as it can be. We will always provide you with a transparent cost/risk analysis of your case to help you decide how you wish to proceed.
As experienced litigators, we can fiercely defend your interests, developing a highly-tailored strategy to give your action the best chance of success. To discuss your specific circumstances with one of our specialist litigation lawyers, call us today on 0151 659 1070 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.
Specialist court proceedings lawyers Liverpool, Wirral, Merseyside and across England & Wales
Three Graces Legal have helped many clients get the results they need in even the most challenging of circumstances. We create a strategy and fee arrangement that works for you, which is what sets us apart from other firms offering similar services. We can handle all elements of the process for you, from attempting negotiation with the other party, to enforcing any judgment obtained from the court. We are a one-stop solution, and our client’s needs come first.
The Court Process
The first step of the court process is for court proceedings to be issued by the claimant. This involves sending a claim form and details of the claim called “Particulars of Claim”. The Particulars of Claim should set out what the claim is about, why the Defendant is at fault, and what you are claiming for. The claim form and particulars should be filed with the court and served on the Defendant.
After issuing court proceedings, there follows a process that requires the Defendant to file and serve their Defence. The Defence should respond to each particular of your claim stating whether they admit, deny or put your allegations to strict proof.
The next stage is for the court to look at the nature of the claim, the basis of the Defence, and what issues are involved. This will enable the court to decide on whether the claim is put into the small track, the fast track, or the multi-track.
While the track will often reflect the complexities of the case, it is usually the actual value which determines where it will be placed. The small track is generally considered to handle lower-value (under £10k) and straightforward claims, while the multi-track deals with those valued more than £25k and can be complex in nature.
The court then sets down a series of directions, such as dates that the parties must provide disclosure of evidence to send to each other, exchange of witness statements, and case management hearings and then the Trial date itself.
How much does it cost to issue court proceedings?
The cost of issuing court proceedings in the UK can vary depending on several factors, including the type and complexity of the case, the court in which the proceedings are initiated, and the specific fees and expenses associated with each stage of the process. Here are some general cost considerations related to issuing court proceedings in the UK:
Court fees: Court fees are typically required when filing a claim form and initiating court proceedings. The amount of court fees depends on the nature and value of the claim. The fees can range from a few hundred pounds for small claims to several thousand pounds for higher-value claims. It's important to consult the most up-to-date fee schedules published by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) or seek legal advice for accurate fee information.
Legal representation: If you choose to engage a solicitor or barrister to assist with your case, you will incur legal costs. The fees for legal representation can vary significantly depending on the complexity and duration of the proceedings, as well as the experience and expertise of the legal professionals involved. It is advisable to discuss and agree upon fee structures and cost estimates with your legal representative in advance.
Additional court-related expenses: Apart from court fees, there may be other expenses associated with court proceedings, such as fees for document filing, service of documents, expert witnesses, court transcripts, and court-approved mediators or alternative dispute resolution providers. These costs can vary depending on the specific requirements of your case.
Costs recovery and liability: In some cases, the successful party in court proceedings may be entitled to recover their legal costs and expenses from the unsuccessful party. However, the extent of costs recovery and the principles governing it can depend on various factors, including the type of case, the conduct of the parties, and the court's discretion. It is essential to discuss costs recovery prospects and potential liability with your legal representative.
It's worth noting that the costs associated with court proceedings can add up significantly, and they should be carefully considered when deciding to pursue litigation. It is advisable to seek legal advice to understand the potential costs involved, explore alternative dispute resolution methods, and consider the prospects of recovering costs if successful.
Judgment and enforcement
If you succeed with your claim, the Court will make an Order for judgment in your favour. The judgment will compel the Defendant to comply with specific terms, such as payment amount by a particular date. You may have heard the term ‘CCJ’, which is an abbreviation for County Court Judgment, which the Defendant now has against them.
If for whatever reason, the Defendant fails to comply with the terms of the Court Order, then you are entitled to seek enforcement of that judgment. This can be done in a number of ways and will depend on the factors behind the case and the Defendant.
Obtaining a County Court Judgment (CCJ) in the UK is a legal process that creditors can initiate to recover outstanding debts from debtors. The process starts with the creditor filing a claim at the County Court, outlining the details of the debt and the amount owed. The court then serves the claim to the debtor, who has the opportunity to respond and provide a defence. If the debtor fails to respond or the court finds in favour of the creditor, a CCJ is issued. The CCJ becomes a formal record of the debt and can have significant consequences for the debtor, including damage to their credit rating. Once a CCJ is obtained, the debtor is usually given a specific period to repay the debt. If they fail to do so, enforcement actions can be taken, such as wage garnishment, seizure of assets, or freezing bank accounts. It is essential for both creditors and debtors to understand the CCJ process and their rights within it. Seeking professional advice from experienced debt recovery lawyers can help navigate the process effectively and protect the interests of all parties involved. At Three Graces Legal, our dedicated team is well-versed in CCJ proceedings, offering expert guidance and representation to ensure a fair and successful resolution of debt disputes.
This entitles the Enforcement Officer to attend on the debtor and recover goods in lieu of monies owed. For more information, click here.
Winding Up petition
If the debt is not disputed, then, following proper service of the Statutory Demand, a petition to wind up the company may be lodged. This has the effect of informing the debtor company’s bank and other creditors that there is an inability of them to meet their debts or demands for payments, and so steps must be taken to either discharge the debt or, if not, to seek an injunction from advertising the petition in the Gazette. You can read more about how to respond or challenge a Winding Up Petition here.
Defending a Winding Up Petition
Our client, a commercial property developer, had entered into a contract of insurance for coverage at a large apartment block. The insurance broker attempted to auto-renew the policy however coverage was questioned, and our client took steps to cancel the policy.
The insurance broker sought to claim for the full annual premium by instructing, first a debt collection agency and then a large national law firm, who issued a Winding Up Petition against our client.
We were able to argue that the petition was misguided as it was a disputed debt and that the proper process had not been followed. Our application for an injunction to prevent notice of the petition from being published was successful, and the Claimants agreed to withdraw the petition and pay our client’s costs of defending the action.
Contact our court lawyers
Being involved in a dispute can be challenging for a business of any size, so you need a specialist team of expert lawyers that can put your mind at ease. Three Graces Legal strive to take at least some of the difficulty out of your situation and obtain the best outcome for you and your business. For free initial advice, call us now on 0151 659 1070 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you right away. We look forward to getting you the advice and assistance you need.