As Barristers we have in-depth expereince with commercial litigation claims and defence. This includes but is not limited to: High Court Claims and Defence, Country Court Claims and Defence, Warrants of Execution, and Charging Order Applications and Defence.
High Court Claims
Despite its name, the High Court is the third-highest court in the country. It deals with civil cases and appeals made against decisions in the lower courts. The high court is divided into three parts, which deal with different kinds of cases: the Queen's Bench Division. the Chancery Division.
Most High Court proceedings are heard by a single judge, but certain kinds of proceedings, especially in the Queen's Bench Division, are assigned to a Divisional Court, a bench of two or more judges. The High Court is based at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in the City of Westminster, London.
Queen’s Bench Division
The Queen’s Bench Division has two roles; It hears cases to do with contract law, personal injury and libel. To supervise the lesser courts – the Crown Court, County Court and magistrates courts.
The Chancery Division deals with business and property cases. This includes things like bankruptcy, consumer rights, patents, wills and tax disputes.
The Family Division deals with things like divorce, children’s welfare and medical treatment. This is where many controversial life-and-death cases are decided.
To make a claim or defend a case at The High Court requires Barrister representation. We can advise on the process further once you get in touch.
County Court ClaimsThe County Courts are courthouses across England and Wales that deal with civil cases.
This can range from anything from housing possession claims, probate claims (disputes over wills), bankruptcy, money claims, where an individual or company is claiming money from another individual or company for breach of an agreement. The County Courts also deal with small claims (less than £10,000.00), personal injury disputes, consumer and negligence claims.
Certain County Courts may also be attached to a Family Court within the same building. These courts will deal with matters relating to adoption, divorce and other cases involving children, such a disputes regarding child maintenance and disputes over child contact issues.
We would usually recommend you use a barrister as it will help maximise your chances of success if you are a Claimant and help you defend a claim if you are a Defendant. Traditionally, barristers have only been instructed by solicitors, recent changes in the law means you can now instruct a barrister yourself.
County Court judgmentIf you believe you are owed money by another person, then you may wish to commence court proceedings to recover the debt. If you are successful if your claim, the County Court will make a County Court Judgment (CCJ) against the person that owes the money.
The County Court Judgment will state how long the debtor has to pay you the money they owe to you, typically 14 days. If they do not pay you within the relevant time period, then you may be entitled to enforce the CCJ by a variety of different methods in order to try to recover the sums they owe.
CCJ’s should not be ignored. Once a County Court judgment is made, it is put on a central Register, called the Register of Judgments, Fines and Orders, where it remains for a period of 6 years or until the debt is paid. Banks and other credit reference agencies will carry out searches of the Register whenever you apply for a loan or mortgage and if they become aware that you have County Court Judgments or CCJ’s against you, then this could affect their decision as to whether to lend you money or not.
Some lenders will not lend to individuals with County Court Judgment / CCJ’s, whilst others may still lend money to you, but at higher interest rates, as the County Court Cudgment / CCJ shows that you are indebted to another person or company and this could affect whether you are able to make the repayments to them.
If you are not able to pay the whole of the debt within the required time frame, you may be able to see if the court will agree to you paying in instalments.
Collection a County Court JudgmentsIf someone refuses to pay, you may need to “enforce” the CCJ to ensure that you receive your money. There are a number of different methods of enforcing a CCJ and depending on the level of the debt owed, you may wish to consider any one of the following options:
- Instruct the bailiffs to collect payment
- Request that money is deducted from their wages
- Freeze some of their assets or money in their bank account
- Put a charge on their land or property
If you do not know about the financial circumstances of the debtor, it is possible to make an application to the County Court for the debtor to attend court and answer questions about their financial circumstances. The debtor is required to provide evidence of their income, savings and spending, together with details of their outgoings.
After the debtor has been questioned, the court will provide you with details of the answers provided by the debtor. If it is apparent that the debtor has no money or is, in effect, bankrupt or insolvent, then you may decide that it is not worth pursuing the debtor for the money they owe to you.
If it is clear that the debtor has the means available to pay, then there are a number of applications you can make to court to try to recover the sums owed to you.
Each of the methods will require you to make a County Court application and you will also have to pay a court fee. However, you may be entitled to include this in the debt that is owed.
Warrant of Execution
A warrant of execution is a form of writ of execution used in the County court in England and Wales (only). It is a method of enforcing judgements and empowers a county court bailiff to attend a judgement debtor's (hereafter, debtor) address to take goods for sale.
What is a Charging Order?This is where the court orders you to pay back the money you owe. A court order means you have to either make regular payments to your creditor or pay the whole debt off by a certain date.
If you don’t keep to the terms of the court order, your creditor has a number of other options to try and make you pay. One of these is to get a further court order called a charging order. A charging order secures the debt against your home or other property you own. This makes the debt very serious. It means that you could lose your home if you don't pay back what you owe.
Once a charging order has been made, your creditor can apply to the court for another order to force you to sell your home. This is called an order for sale.