Whatever the grounds for a dispute, we understand it can be daunting and stressful for those involved. We will keep you informed as to your options and will:

  • Evaluate the strength of your claim and any likely outcomes
  • Liaise with the other parties
  • Assist you in gathering evidence to substantiate your case
  • Advise you on methods of dispute resolution before going to court


Our advice and representation is free of charge. However, you may have to pay court fees and (if applicable) expert fees (which will incur VAT, currently at 20%). These will vary depending on the value of your claim. We can advise you at the outset as to what anticipated fees you will need to pay as the claim progresses. You don’t have to commit to use our services until you know exactly what is involved.


We can help you if:

  • The value of your claim is less than £10,000
  • It is based in England/ Wales
  • You want free legal advice and/ or representation
  • You are a claimant or defendant
  • You don’t have the confidence to run the claim yourself
  • You have started the process yourself and you are finding it too complex or overwhelming


Typically, small claims involve the following types of cases:

  • Contract disputes
  • Faulty or Damaged goods
  • Damaged Property
  • Inadequate Services
  • Consumer Issues
  • Unpaid Rent (private landlord)
  • Unfairly Issued parking fines


Services included and key stages of the process

If we can take on your matter, we will provide you with a retainer letter and our terms of business. After taking your initial instructions and giving initial advice on your particular circumstances, it may be that your case develops into a litigated case in which Court proceedings have been issued.  The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-action discussions, your claim is likely to take up to 6 months to resolve. If your claim proceeds to Court it is more likely to take 12 months or more. These are estimates based upon our experiences to date. However, the timescales may change depending upon the complexity of your case, compliance of the parties and the Court in which your claim is issued. We will keep you informed throughout and will explain what is required of you. We will ensure that your matter is given the attention that it deserves and will address any concerns that you may have about the process.

We will also look at whether it is appropriate to mediate your case. This would involve a neutral party acting as a mediator. This allows both parties to discuss what outcome they are looking for and why, in a less formal setting than a court hearing. Mediation can be an effective way to resolve a dispute but not all mediations will result in a settlement. It is always something that should be borne in mind when dealing with a small claims matter and will require an element of compromise.

In some cases, a court may rule that a matter is too complex for the small claims procedure and this is just something to bear in mind when we assess the merits of your claim/defence.

If you do wish to issue small claims proceedings to recover a debt that is owed to you then please read about how your case will be funded here.

Contact us for a discussion about your claim.

Ruth Dawson is our commercial litigation/small claims solicitor who self supervises. You can read more about Ruth’s qualifications and experience here.

Ruth Dawson

0114 225 6666


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