The Small Claims Court limited is broadly £10,000.

There isn’t a fixed Small Claims Court limit but there are guidelines for the court to follow to decide whether a claim ought to be dealt with in the small claims track of the court system.

The rules in relation to allocation and small claims are set out in the Civil Procedure Rules and in particular:

CPR 26.6(3) ”… the small claims track is the normal track for any claim which has a value of not more than £10,000.”

Generally, claims not exceeding £10,000 in value will be small claims, so the small claims court limit it usually £10,000. However, the court does take into account factors other than value:

“CPR 26.8(1) When deciding the track for a claim, the matters to which the court shall have regard include:
(a) the financial value, if any, of the claim;
(b) the nature of the remedy sought;
(c) the likely complexity of the facts, law or evidence;
(d) the number of parties or likely parties;
(e) the value of any counterclaim or other Part 20 claim and the complexity of any matters relating to it;
(f) the amount of oral evidence which may be required;
(g) the importance of the claim to persons who are not parties to the proceedings;
(h) the views expressed by the parties; and
(i) the circumstances of the parties.”

By and large, the main consideration of the court is the value of the claim. However, if a lower value claim is complex and will require a great deal of evidence, the court might be persuaded to allocate it to the more senior fast track. In the fast track there is much greater risk in relation to legal costs.

It is in our experience unusual for the court to allocate a claim of a value not exceeding £10,000 to the fast track. Instead the court will usually allocate to the small claims track an the trial Judge will just have to get through the evidence as best it can in the time available at trial.

The value of the claim isn’t always straight forward and the court rules give the court guidance as to what to take into account, and discount, when assessing the financial value of the claim:

“CPR 26.8(2) It is for the court to assess the financial value of a claim and in doing so it will disregard –
(a) any amount not in dispute;
(b) any claim for interest;
(c) costs; and
(d) any contributory negligence.”

The Small Claims Court Limit – In Summary

To recap, there is no absolute Small Claims Court limit but the court will generally allocate claims of a value not exceeding £10,000 to the small claims track.