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Small claim? Legal dispute?- New online service aims to make taking action easier

small claimThe Government announced, earlier this month, that a new online service, aiming to resolve a small claim quicker and easier has gone live, following a successful pilot.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS), has launched the service, which can be used to start a claim against anyone in England and Wales, in the County Court, for amounts up to £10,000.Although it is a phrase in common usage, there is actually no such thing as a ‘small claims court’. but there is a way to settle small claims via the county court.

There are no more paper forms to complete, a County Court claim can be settled more easily, (the service recommends mediation to avoid a lengthy process and links to the ‘Justice’ website.) and thus a claimant can save time, stress, and money – very important if you are a small business owner with a recalcitrant client. Remember though – the court process should really be a last resort when all other reasonable steps to recover your money have been taken and there is no guarantee of success.

It is part of a drive to increase access to justice across the legal system and replaces an old system that could be time-consuming, frustrating and intimidating. This new process has tried to ensure that the language used is not too formal and that the interface – the way into the system – is user-friendly.

The claims service can be found via the site with access to the new service at