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Court Action – Getting Paid What You Are Owed

Andrew Cohen

1. Credit Control

The very best method of making sure that you get paid is good credit control.

For businesses: having a strong set of terms and conditions, and taking time and trouble to incorporate these into contracts with customers, can be an absolutely vital in getting money back.

For individuals: getting legal expenses insurance is be a sensible step

2. Having a Lawyer

The truth about using the Court to get your money back is that it is almost always expensive if you use a lawyer. However, it can be even more expensive not to use a lawyer because you almost certainly will not be aware of the pitfalls, rules and requirements which the Court imposes upon all of those who use them.

3. Civil Procedure Rules

The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) set out the rules and practice directions that govern anything which is done in the Court. You can find them here.

These rules are lengthy and complicated and, despite the very best efforts of the people who write them, are simply not user friendly.

Beyond the complexity of the rules there is a tactical environment which it will be extremely difficult to appreciate without some help from lawyers.

4. Where Should You Start ?

CPR Parts 7 and 8 – Starting a Claim

The Court has gone out of its way to help people and there is extensive explanation as to how to start a claim. They have even created facilities for starting money claims online and, for cases under £10,000 (the small claims track), there is, usually, no adverse costs order if your case is unsuccessful.

The Court’s communications, in the small claims track, are also very helpful on preparing for hearing, and the rules are simplified for small claims cases.

Even small claims cases present problems, and some help from a lawyer before you start your claim is always sensible and will probably be cost effective.

5. What if I my Claim is Larger Than £10,000?

Claims over £10,000 carry the risk of adverse legal costs orders if you are not successful. It is sensible, though not essential, to use a lawyer.

5. Speak to a Lawyer First

It is always more sensible to speak to a lawyer BEFORE you go to the Court and issue a claim.

A good lawyer will see (or try and see) the whole picture and advise you as to the best steps to take. Strategy and tactics are a huge part of a successful claim.

6. Threatening Bankruptcy (against people) and Winding Up (against companies)

This can be an effective tool, but only when used very carefully and with at least some advice. If you get the procedures or, the decision when to pull out of those procedures (if necessary), wrong, the pitfalls and costs are significant.

How We Can Help

At W Davies Solicitors we are well used to dealing with Litigation or “Dispute Resolution”.

We will advise you in taking steps towards getting the best result for you.

If you have a problem, please talk to or email one of our Litigation Team:

Andrew Cohenaec@wdavies.com

Caroline Batkocab@wdavies.com

Mark Williamsmw@wdavies.com

Freddie Lawsonfjl@wdavies.com

Trudi Fletcher – tf@wdavies.com

Further reading