Call now: 0208 866 6464
Existing clients tel: 0208 866 6464

The Sethi Partnership Solicitors

The Barn House, 38 Meadow Way,
Eastcote, Ruislip, Middlesex
England, HA4 8TB

Call now: 0208 866 6464
Existing clients tel: 0208 866 6464

The Sethi Partnership Solicitors

The Barn House, 38 Meadow Way,
Eastcote, Ruislip, Middlesex
England, HA4 8TB

Guide to Making a Court Claim


This guide contains a summary of the essential aspects of making claims, but not in employment or family law matters.

This is a complex and expensive area of the law. The merits of a claim are crucial as they indicate the chances of success in making or defending a claim. Specific issues can arise where you will need expert advice. The costs of bringing or defending a claim can sometimes become more important than the subject matter, which is why you should take legal advice as early as you can so that you can put in place a strategy plan and budget for dealing with any claim.

For a fixed fee we can review and recommend a strategy for any claim. Contact our specialist litigation solicitors on 0208 866 6464 today. 

The Civil Procedure Rules (“CPR”) set out what must be done to “issue a claim” with the High Court or the County Court. They stipulate the fees to be paid and the procedural steps to be followed to bring any claim before a court for final determination.

The CPR contain “protocols” which set out the steps parties must follow before any formal court documents are issued. Different protocols apply to different types of claims. They govern what is called the “pre-action period”. Parties are expected to inform each other of their claims or responses and share information and documents before a claim is issued. Failure to comply with a protocol can result in a party having to pay more of the overall legal costs of all parties to the claim.

If a party or their solicitor wishes to comply with a protocol they will send a “letter of claim”. That letter will set out the facts relied upon by the claimant and the legal consequences which entitle them to claim money, damages or some other remedy against you. You will be given a deadline to reply to the letter. If you don’t reply the claimant may proceed to issue formal court documents at either the County Court or the High Court. This could be a “claim form” or an “application notice”.

Deadlines are very important with claims. If you miss them you could end up having a judgment against you, which could affect your credit rating. Documents will come to you by post or could be handed to you personally. So, you should collect, open and read all of your post or your e-mail or get someone reliable to do so and pass any information/documents to you urgently.

If you think you want to make a claim or that someone might make one against you, you should keep secure any documents which might be relevant to your case so that you can comply with your legal obligation to give disclosure. This includes documents which assist you as well the other party to the claim. It also covers any electronic documents, e-mails or text messages stored on any computer, device or phone.

You should also check whether you have legal expenses cover on your house contents or other insurance policy. Read the policy terms and conditions carefully and consider calling their help line to find out if you are covered. Having this cover makes it less of a headache to deal with a claim.

When a claim is issued a “court fee” must be paid unless you are entitled to apply for an exemption. The Court fee is charged on the value of the claims.

Based on value claims are “allocated” to either the “small” (up to £10,000), “fast” (£10,000 - £25,000) or “multi” (over £25,000) tracks. This affects how quickly the case is determined and the amount of court fees and legal costs a party can recover. If you win a small claim you will recover the court fee but not your legal costs, unless your opponent has behaved unreasonably.

After “allocation” the court makes directions in preparation for the final hearing. The court has a duty to manage claims so that its time is used to deal with all cases fairly. Parties must disclose documents, exchange witness statements and any experts’ reports by given deadlines. There are rules as to when you can use an expert’s opinion.

If deadlines are missed the court may impose sanctions (refusing to allow documents, evidence or expert reports) or make costs orders where a party has not complied with directions or the rules.

If you employ a solicitor or barrister, you must pay them upfront.

The court can order your opponent to pay your costs in limited circumstances. It can order payment within 14 days of part of the costs before the case is over. At the end it will make an order about any remaining costs. The normal order is that a loser pays but the court can make percentage orders or orders about issues. The trial court will either say (i) what final amount is to be paid in 14 days or (ii) that a specialist costs judge must “assess” the winner’s costs in which case the loser must pay a sum on account (usually 50% of the estimated costs) in 14 days.

Assessment by a costs judge is treated as a new claim. Where the costs claimed are under £75,000 the court will “provisionally” assess the costs without a hearing. If a party disagrees with the assessment they can request a hearing but will have to pay the opponent’s costs unless they achieve an increase or reduction of 20% of the costs claimed. If a party does not beat an opponent’s offer of settlement they will have to pay the costs of the assessment in 14 days.

If a party appeals any decision in the case about the claim or it costs, then the court will order the loser of the appeal to pay costs.

This is a broad outline. We can advise in more detail if you require it.

Contact our litigation specialists in Ruislip, Middlesex today 

For further information and arranging a fixed fee appointment to ascertain the merits of your matter please contact us on 0208 866 6464 or by completing our online contact form


Coronavirus COVID19 

In light of the Coronavirus and in an effort to assist our clients and the economy, we are offering reduced rates on our fees* in some areas of work valid for the month of April.

We are open for Business as Usual with mindful protection. 

Our lawyers are still fully able and equipped  to assist existing clients and new clients by telephone, email, facetime and online meetings. We are not encouraging face to face appointments but we do have an outside office that can be utilised for signatures etc. whilst keeping in line with social distancing.

Existing Clients
As our legal team are following government advice and working from home, if you need to contact them please call the office or email them directly. All our contact details can be found on our website at ‘Our Team’.

New Clients
At this time we encourage all of our prospective clients to contact us via telephone, e-mail or our online new client enquiry on our website. Your matter will be received by our legal team and they will call or email you back as soon as possible.

If any of our Local Eastcote Residents are alone, struggling or self- isolating and in need of any supplies/food/medicines/ please get in touch with us on 0208 866 6464 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

*Reduced rates include: preparation of Wills, initial 1 hour fixed fee for Employment matters, Landlord &Tenant matters, Conveyancing matters for first time buyers and key workers.

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