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Since 1995 we have been adding value to our function as High Court Enforcement professionals by helping our client community collect outstanding B2B debts.

Here’s a checklist of the essential items needed to start a money claim in the English courts based on a written or spoken contract |

  1. Contract documentation | Gather all relevant documents related to the contract, including the written or spoken agreement, any amendments, quotations, purchase orders, invoices, delivery notes, correspondence, or other evidence supporting your claim.
  2. Statement of case | Prepare a clear and concise statement outlining the details of the contract, including the parties involved, the terms and conditions, the breach or non-performance of the contract, and the amount claimed.
  3. Letter before action | Prior to initiating a claim, a formal β€œletter before action” to the other party is mandatory to protect you on costs later on if you issue proceedings.  A carefully drafted β€œletter before claim” with the necessary Pre-Action Debt Protocol forms demonstrates to your debtor that you mean business and you are intentional about getting it paid.  The letter should state your intention to take legal action if the dispute is not resolved within the timeframes set by the Protocol.
  4. Supporting evidence | Compile any supporting evidence that strengthens your case. This may include emails, letters, photographs, invoices, receipts, or any other relevant documents that prove the existence of the contract and the breach or non-performance.
  5. Calculating the claim amount | Determine the precise amount being claimed, including any outstanding payments, damages, or losses incurred as a result of the breach or non-performance. Provide a breakdown of the calculations and supporting documents, such as invoices or financial records.
  6. Include Interest | Statutory interest and Late Payment Interest for Commercial Debts for Business-to-Business debts need to be prepared and added to your claim.  Don’t lose out on this aspect of your claim because it can be valuable.    
  7. Jurisdiction assessment | Verify that the English courts have jurisdiction over the dispute. This depends on various factors, such as the location of the contract, the parties involved, and any jurisdiction clauses within the contract itself.
  8. Research limitation periods | Check the applicable limitation period within which a claim must be filed. In England, the general limitation period for contract claims is six years from the date of the breach or non-performance, but there may be exceptions depending on the circumstances.
  9. Court fees | Determine the applicable court fees for starting a money claim, which can vary depending on the value of the claim. Familiarize yourself with the fee structure and ensure you have the necessary funds to cover these expenses. 
  10. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) | Consider whether alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or negotiation, can help in resolving the dispute before going to court. Some courts may require parties to attempt ADR before proceeding with litigation.
  11. Choosing the correct court | Identify the appropriate court to file your claim. The value and complexity of the claim will determine whether it should be filed in the Small Claims Court, County Court, or the High Court.
  12. Completing the claim form | Prepare the necessary claim form, which varies depending on the court chosen. Provide accurate details, including the parties’ names and addresses, the nature of the claim, and the amount being claimed.

Summing Up

It’s important to note that legal matters can be complex and Defences and Counterclaims can suddenly appear.  So, it is advisable to seek professional legal advice when initiating a money claim in the English courts

Our sister company, Shergroup Legal, which is regulated by the UK’s Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you make sense of the Court Rules and ensure you have all the information you need to navigate your money claim successfully.

Visit now to learn more and schedule a consultation with our experienced legal team.

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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