If you are owed money then you may have to go through a process of asking for it nicely, demanding it, and then getting the court to help you recover it.
There are different mechanisms for bringing civil claims. If you are owed less than £10,000 and are just asking to be paid the money, and are not looking for some other remedy, then the Small Claims Track is for you.
There are some things you need to know about small claims. The first is that you probably don’t need our help – at least not as much help as you would if you were issuing a different sort of claim. Part of the reason is that small claims tend to be pretty straightforward. They are generally your word against your opponent’s, backed up by a file of papers. There aren’t usually legal arguments, and the system is designed for people to represent themselves in court and to quickly recover what they are legally owed.
That leads on to the other important thing about small claims: you can not recover your costs from your opponent. You may have heard of losing parties having to pay thousands of pounds to cover the winner’s legal costs. That doesn’t happen in small claims. Here each party bears their own costs, apart from court fees and some expenses which you may get back if you win. That’s why, more often than not, lawyers aren’t asked for much advice and representation along the way. Where we come into it – and where we can really make a difference – is in the initial stages; advising on the legal basis of a claim, giving guidance on drafting claims and defences, and helping with strategy and process.