Small claims court UK, is one of the most common search phrases we find people visiting our site looking for.
It is important that court users understand that the court systems of Scotland and Northern Ireland are separate from the courts of England & Wales. As such there is no small claims court UK. This website deals with small claims in England & Wales only.
There are a number of factors which can affect whether courts of England & Wales are the appropriate courts in which to start a claim:
- The terms of the contract. Check any terms and conditions which apply. They may well specify that law and courts of England & Wales are to apply.
- Where the parties live. Do both you and the Claimant live or trade from England or Wales.
- Where the contract was performed. For example, if you want to sue a building company registered in Scotland who carried out work on your house in England, the court might agree the claim should be dealt with in the courts of England & Wales, as performance of the contract (the building works) took place in England.
If you issue a claim in the English courts which should for example have been issued in the Scottish courts, the English court may dismiss the claim. However, it might instead keep the claim and instead apply the laws of Scotland. The courts of England & Wales can apply the laws of other jurisdictions although this is unusual. If the claim is issued incorrectly, often the Defendant will agree for the courts of England & Wales to resolve the claim simply to get the matter resolved.
In short, there is no small claims court UK, so before issuing a claim ensure that you check which courts and jurisdiction are appropriate for your claim.
There has been talk more recently (this article having been updated in 2018) of Wales seeking to introduce its own separate laws and potentially procedures. That is a possibility but we think it more likely things will stay as they are as having a number of different laws, rules and procedures, will create confusion and uncertainty especially for those who live and trade close to the borders.
If your claim needs to be brought in Scotland, look here for information.
If your claim needs to be brought in Northern Ireland, look here for information.