small claims

What is the small claims court?

The small claims court is a division of the County Court and is designed for less complex cases and is supposed to be ‘user friendly’ for consumers. You can use the small claims process for most contractual consumer problems, ranging from claiming a refund from a trader (such as a holiday company during the Covid-19 pandemic, or a retailer refusing to take responsibility for their faulty goods) to disputing a parking ticket.

The total you can claim in England and Wales is £10,000, in Scotland it is £5,000 and in Northern Ireland it is £3,000. However, for housing disrepair and personal injury cases, the limit is £1,000.

However, even if your claim is within the claims limit, a judge may decide that a case cannot be heard as a small claim if the case is believed to be too complex.

How much does it cost to file a claim?

The court fee is based on the amount you are claiming, plus interest, as follows:

Claim amount Paper form fee Online claim fee
Up to £300 £35 £25
£300.01 to £500 £50 £35
£500.01 to £1,000 £70 £60
£1,000.01 to £1,500 £80 £70
£1,500.01 to £3,000 £115 £105
£3,000.01 to £5,000 £205 £185
£5,000.01 to £10,000 £455 £410

Do I need a lawyer?

The small claims process was designed for consumers to use the process without a lawyer. However, if you are claiming against a company (a retailer, holiday company etc.) it is highly likely that they will have legal representation, putting you at a disadvantage.

It is important that you state your case properly and that you cite the correct law, and this is where we can help in one of three ways:

1. We can draft the court papers for you, at a fixed fee of £99 plus VAT

2. We can deal with the whole matter for you, at a fixed fee of £200 plus VAT.

3. Alternatively, we can provide you with a written legal opinion (tailored to the facts of your case), which will include a step by step guide on what you need to do to get your refund. This is at a fixed cost of £100 plus VAT.