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The issue of County Court or High Court Proceedings

On occasions the issue of proceedings is inevitable. This may be done either
by clients acting by themselves or by instructing a solicitor. Clients may issue
proceedings in either the County Court, High Court or by using the County Court on-
line facility in Northampton.

Where a creditor is aware of a dispute, it is important to follow the Practice Direction
on Pre-Action Conduct, failing which a claim may be either stayed or a Claimant may
have an adverse costs order made against it.

There will be a court fee to pay at the time of issue and other fees will become
payable as the matter progresses.

A defendant has 14 days to acknowledge a Claim Form and 28 days to file a Defence.

Very often the issuance of a Claim Form will result in payment without any further
action being taken. Occasionally the debtor will not respond to the Claim Form and it
will be necessary for the Claimant to apply for judgment. On occasions the debtor will
defend the Claim Form, particularly if they are experiencing cash flow problems, and
the matter will then proceed on a fully contested basis.

There are a number of issues for clients to consider before they either instruct a
solicitor to issue proceedings or they do so themselves.

Where the defendant is a consumer, then the proceedings will probably be transferred
to his home court, which may be many miles away from the claimant. This may
impact upon the viability of continuing with a claim, particularly one that is under
£5000 and is therefore allocated to the Small Claims Track.

It is important that, where appropriate, the Claimant has followed the Practice
Direction on Pre-Action Conduct. Further, prior to issuing the Claimant should ensure
that it accurately records all details on the Claim Form and that it fully appreciates
all of the claims that it has and the likely defences (and counterclaims) that may be
raised.

Often creditors will be tempted to use debt recovery solicitors who are a long distance
from their business but who appear to be willing to undertake debt recovery work
at very cheap prices. There is nothing wrong in using such firms of solicitors, but it
needs to be appreciated that if the debt becomes disputed then these solicitors will in
any event be charging you an hourly rate for their work. Although such hourly
rate may look cheap, it is not always sensible to have litigation undertaken by cheap,
sometimes inexperienced or unqualified “lawyers” who are located many miles away
from your business.

At MJD Solicitors we can undertake routine debt recovery court work at competitive
prices with the advantage that in the event matters become disputed you can be
confident that your claim will be handled by experienced, fully qualified solicitors.
Although we will not be the cheapest, we do provide experienced solicitors who will
secure results at a reasonable cost.

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Call 01277 280760 today for effective help and advice.