Our solicitors are vastly experienced in assisting individuals and companies of all sizes to facilitate and advise when a debtor contests a debt recovery claim. This is known as a defended action. At Blackstone Solicitors, we are able to advise many different types of client on the process involved, no matter the complexity of the circumstances being considered and the nature of the debt recovery.
For more information about how our team of corporate solicitors can help, contact us on 0345 901 0445 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will call you back at a convenient time.
Upon receiving a claim against them, the defendant has a number of options. They can file a defence disputing part of the claim, they could dispute the whole claim and a claim may, in turn, be made against you.
Blackstone Solicitors are known for our efficiency, attention to detail and ability to get things done; qualities much needed when addressing defended actions. We will provide professional, pragmatic advice based on our years of experience in this specialist area.
Our team will do all that is necessary to ensure you are properly and robustly represented in any claim and will put your interests first at all times. The procedure can often be highly technical and we will ensure you are in the best possible position for a sccessful outcome.
Why Legal Help is Important
If the defence has little chance of success, it may be possible to make an application to strike it out and enter judgment for the amount claimed.
If the claim has been defended in any way, the court will send the claimant, a copy of the defence and (provided that the debt claim is under £10,000) a notice that the court has assumed the case is suitable for the small claims track. You and the defendant will be asked to complete the Directions Questionnaire and return it to both the court and to the other party.
When completing the Directions Questionnaire, the parties are asked to consider if they are happy to engage in dispute resolution. The court’s mediation service is free for cases under £10,000 and is dealt with over the telephone. There is a small charge for cases over £10,000. Both parties must be willing to take part, as it is a voluntary process. However, it’s worth noting that the court can take a dim view of those who are unwilling to co-operate with each other. Any agreement reached will be contained in an order, which can be enforced by either party should the other default.
The process can be complex, potentially stressful and can be considered to be
incredibly important. It can have an impact on you and your business, both in the short and long term – it is therefore imperative that you have the best legal experts at your side, not only to ensure everything progresses as it should, but also to make sure both you and your business benefits from the best possible terms of any agreement.
If mediation is not appropriate, the case will be transferred to a court local to the defendant and listed for a hearing. At this point, a court fee will be payable, dependant upon the value of the claim.
Directions will be given to take the file through the court process up to a final hearing for determination. These directions are likely to include the filing and serving a bundle of all of the documents upon which you intend to rely. You will also be required to file and serve a witness statement. If you require expert evidence, this will also need to be dealt with at this point. The court will have set a date for the hearing and all the preparation work will lead you towards that final hearing.
Although it is possible to represent yourself, it’s advisable to instruct a solicitor to attend on your behalf. You should be aware that the costs of sending legal representation may not be recoverable from the other party, even if you are successful.
The hearing is likely to take place in the judge’s chambers. It will be a district judge who hears the case, and the people in the room, as well as you, your lawyer and any witnesses you have, will be your opponent, their lawyer, their witnesses, and court staff.
The judge will already have been given the opportunity to read through the papers sent to the court, and will, therefore, have background knowledge to the issues at hand. Your case will be a civil case, which will have to be proved on the ‘balance of probabilities’. This means that if it’s more likely than not that your version of events is true then the decision will go in your favour.
Whatever the circumstances are of the defended actions, we ensure full compliance with corporate laws and regulations, so that you can be sure that the process is addressed on a firm financial and legal basis.
We will work with you to ensure all financial and legal aspects of any defended action is properly managed. We are able to assist with any aspect of this and will guide you through the technicalities in a clear and concise way. We have a team of experienced solicitors well versed in the process who are ready to assist you.
Get in Touch
Find out more about our services and how our commercial litigation solicitors can assist you and your business by getting in touch. We have offices in Cheshire and London and are able to serve clients across the North West, including Chester and Manchester, as well as throughout the UK and also overseas.