DIY Claims – A Good Idea?

With the internet being accessible by more or less everyone, basic legal claims can seem straightforward. Although this is often the case, the Claimant can encounter problems with the Court process.

When issuing a claim, the Claimant will submit a claim form including a document setting out the factual and legal circumstances of the dispute in addition to what is being claimed. This document is known as the ‘Particulars of Claim’. Claimants who do not seek legal advice often find that their claim is not issued as a result of a procedural mistake.

A common error made by Claimants is the failure to include adequate detail of the dispute. This in turn allows a Defendant to rely on this in support of their defence. Furthermore, the Defendant can reserve the right to submit an amended further defence, should the Court order the Claimant to provide further detailed Particulars of Claim. It is likely that the Court will order the Claimant to pay the Defendant’s costs for doing this.

Another common error is the failure to serve the claim on the Court correctly. In these circumstances, the Court may strike out the claim and the Claimant will then need to reissue the claim and pay a further fee. The Court fee for any claim over £10,000 will be 5% of the total amount claimed, so it is crucial the claim is issued correctly.

Once the claim is successfully issued and sealed by the Court, either the Court or Claimant can send it to the Defendant. The delivery of these documents is known as ‘service’ of the claim. Once the Defendant receives the claim they then have 2 weeks to file a form called an ‘Acknowledgement of Service’ stating that they are defending the entire claim and have a further 2 weeks to file a defence. If either the acknowledgement of service or defence is not received by the Court, the Claimant can obtain a ‘Judgement in Default’, allowing the Claimant to take steps to enforce their claim and recover what is owed from the Defendant. If the Defendant did not receive the claim, as it was improperly served, any judgement will be set aside leading to further costs for the Claimant.

Even though seeking legal advice when issuing a claim may seem costly, it means the Claimant can be confident that the claim is issued and served correctly.

If you would like to speak to one of our Litigation Solicitors in Gloucester, contact us on 0800 158 4147 to book an initial 45 minute appointment for £125.00 plus VAT (£150.00).

To contact us please call 0800 158 4147 or 03330 145451 or email

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