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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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A company of which I am a director has had a claim made against

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A company of which I am a director has had a claim made against it in the County Court. The Claimant is being represented by a firm of Solicitors.

The Claim was originally allocated to the Fast Track even though it is only for c £7k. We have made an Application to move it back to the Small Claims track, not least because the Claimant's costs are now estimated at c £6k with little evidence to support the same.

What are our principle arguments to move it back to Small Track please?

Joshua :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Joshua :

What was the original reason the claim was allocated to fast track please - was the claim issued prior to the increase in the small claims limits to £10K or are the special circumstances - e.g. it is a sex discrimination claim?

Customer:

The claim was issued on 7.2.13 - it is not a sexual discrimination claim. In their Allocation Questionnaire the Claimant's Solicitor states:

Customer:

'This claim was issued on 7 February 3013 prior to 1 April 2013. Therefore we are unsure whether it will now be allocated to the small claims track or the fast following the increase in the small claims track limited from £5k to £10k. We await the court's decision.'

Customer:

We had asked for small claims

Customer:

The case has yet to reach Court

Joshua :

Sorry for the delay in reverting to you. I have been rescuing out door furniture from high winds.

Joshua :

The small claims limit as you are aware came into force in April of this year increasing from £5K to £10K. The is no provision for the increase to apply retrospectively and if the claim was issued prior to April it is allocated and determined in accordance with the previous rules which provide for a fast track allocation.

Joshua :

It is difficult to see on what basis under the pre April rules you could argue that the claim should be allocated to the SCC unless you can apply for part of their claim to be struck out on the basis of no merit and hence reduce the claim to under £5K.

Joshua :

However the fast track by no means allows for unlimited costs to be claimed. The fast track is designed to dispense with claims relative swiftly and cost effectively and therefore contains fixed costs that the court can award according to a costs table which provide that for a claim between £3K and £10K the maximum costs that can be awarded subject as follows is £690.

Joshua :

There is provision for the court to award an additional £345 if the lawyer attends the hearing as well as reasonable expenses of the parties, e.g. parking fees and so on.

Joshua :

The judge has some additional discretion to award further costs if he considers that either party has behaved unreasonably but there is no provision for sky high costs in the fast track. You can read the costs rules for fast track here if you would like to read them chapter and verse:
http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part45-fixed-costs#sectionVI

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

That's BRILLIANT thank you Joshua thank you - have been securing the garden myself too!

Customer:

One final point - does the above costs limits exclude or include Court fees? I.e can the Claimant recover these on top of the permitted costs?

Customer:

Oh and...

Customer:

Am I right in thinking that because we are defending ourselves, that we are unable to claim for example our time in preparing for and attending Court? I.e. what are the CPR rules relating to this?

Joshua :

The above figures exclude court application fees

Joshua :

If you can prove loss of income as a consequence of your preparing for the trial the judge has the power to award costs in this respect if you make an application for costs and request this. You will need to be able to prove your loss of income that you seek to claim for on tha balance of probability.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify or assist you with any further?

Joshua and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Joshua - that's really helpful!

A pleasure.
Joshua and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you