As soon as a customer issues a court claim against you, you should seek legal advice.
Cases can be won or lost on how well the case is presented and it is important to have a plan from the start. We regularly help our members assess the merits of the case against them and will advise on best and worst case scenarios. Even if you have been dealing with a case yourself or have been taking legal advice from elsewhere, we can still help.
By way of an example, one of our members already had a case from a customer up and running when they joined us. The dealer knew that the customer had an RAC report undertaken at the point of sale and they knew that the report would help their case. However the customer had refused to hand over the report.
Knowing it would provide a crucial piece of evidence, as it would help prove that the issues the customer complained of were not present at the point of sale, we set about getting a copy of the report. We did this under Part 18 of the Civil Procedure Rules which, in summary, meant sending a request to the customer in a certain format and then making an application to the court following the customer’s response (which was a refusal to send the report). This led to the court ordering the customer to produce the report which together with our dealer’s own Pre Delivery Inspection report and other evidence, persuaded the judge in our favour. The customer’s case was completely dismissed.
Would the judge have ruled the same way without the report? Quite possibly not and so the lesson here is to give your legal team as much notice as possible as even if we are not involved from the start, we can still use our legal knowledge and experience to help you get the right result.
Lawgistics members can get advice from the legal team.