Most of the time at Lawgistics we defend our clients in claims made against them, but from time to time our clients need our help in bringing a claim against a debtor, where a bill has not been settled or there is a breach of contract.
If you are considering bringing a claim in the small claims court against a customer who has an outstanding bill or a business associate, Lawgistics can take instruction. First you need to consider:
1. Who is the other party? This is one of the first things to consider if you have a dispute, before you even contact the other side. Is your claim against a company? Perhaps your claim is against multiple people? Perhaps your claim is against just one person, but they have no money, no job, and no assets, thus you would have no way of enforcing your judgment if you were successful.
You also need to look at where the other party is located. If they are not located in the UK but proceedings must be bought in the UK, you may need to make an application to the court asking permission to serve your claim outside of the jurisdiction.
2. To bring a claim, you will need to prove you have a claim by relying on evidence. In a breach of contract case, you would be expected to rely on the contract itself, and then prove that a particular clause in the contract has been breached. You would then have to prove your loss, for example, if you have had to pay money to someone else to complete or redo work which they should have done. Loss can be shown by receipts, invoices, quotations etc.
You should calculate exactly what your claim would be. If your claim is to recover loss, can you include loss of profit? Can you add interest? If yes, how much?
At this stage the Civil Procedure Rules come into play. These are the action requirements depending on what claim you are bringing. In a money claim one of the requirements is to send the other side a letter before commencing proceedings, called a Letter before Claim. The purpose of this is to put the other side on notice that you are contemplating issuing a claim if the issue cannot be resolved, this prompts settlement negotiations and attempts to limit any issues before proceedings are issued.
Lawgistics are here to advise on your claims against those in debt to you if it comes to litigation and the various settlement options before this point.