Successful Recovery of 50% of Legal Costs at Small Claims Hearing by our Commercial Litigation Solicitors
In this case study, we report on a disputed claims case where our commercial litigation solicitors were able to successfully recover 50% of our client’s legal costs at a small claims hearing. If a debt is disputed, as in this case, this is when our litigation services team are called in. If the dispute cannot be settled by alternative dispute resolution methods, and we believe the case stands a good chance of being won in court, then our litigation solicitors will recommend an appropriate course of action.
The Background to this Disputed Claims Case
We issued a claim for c.£8,000 plus costs and interest on behalf of our client for services they had supplied (for the carriage of goods) and had not received payment for. The Defendant filed a defence and a counter claim for the approximate value of our original claim. Given that the claim was for less than £10,000, it was allocated to the small claims track for a small claims hearing.
In a small claims hearing, the general rule is that legal costs are not recoverable, unless it can be proven that there has been unreasonable conduct on the part of the Defendant. Unreasonable conduct includes:
- Failing to mediate,
- Not engaging in litigation,
- Defence with no merit,
- Failure to file a list of documents or file witness statements filed in support of defence/CC,
- No attendance by Defendant at final hearing
Our Claim was Successful
At the small claims hearing, the Defendant’s counterclaim was not detailed or supported by documents. In addition, the Defendant failed to file evidence in support of its defence or counterclaim
No witness statements or list of documents were filed by the Defendant in readiness for the Small Claims Hearing. The Defendant didn’t attend the final hearing (although a reason for not attending was sent to the hearing), and as a limited company it was under an obligation to ensure it was represented.
As a result, judgement in this disputed claim case was granted in favour of our client and approximately 50% of legal costs awarded at the District Judge’s discretion based on the Defendant’s unreasonable conduct.
Contact our Commercial Litigation Solicitors for Help and Advice with Disputed Claims
Our team of commercial litigation solicitors is highly experienced in all areas of debt recovery, and has had much success in acting for clients in disputed claims cases, as this case study shows.
For help and advice with disputed claims, please contact us or call us on 01922 616306 for a FREE initial discussion in complete confidence.