One of the stages in litigation is allocation. This is where the court chooses which "track" your case will be allocated to. A track is a bit like a route map. There are three different tracks that each have different rules. This allows a more streamlined approach to cases of different complexity, allowing the court to exercise different case management powers depending on which track your case has been allocated to.
The Small Claims Track
Claims with a value below lb10,000 fall within the small claims track.
It aims to cater to most straightforward claims and provides a proportionate procedure, usually without the need for legal advice from a lawyer. This means there will not be need for much pre-hearing preparation or the formalities of a full trial. For example, relaxed rules apply such as the rules of evidence and judgements are usually given in the same hearing.
This prevents you from incurring large legal costs, which would otherwise be wholly disproportionate to the value of your claim. Importantly, you cannot routinely recover your legal costs, if your case is allocation to this track and you are successful.
The Fast Track
Claims of a value above lb10,000 but below lb25,000 will usually be allocated to the fast track. In addition, the fast track is suitable for claims where the trial is expected to last no longer than one day or for claims requiring two experts per party maximum.
These claims are usually heard in the County Court and much preparation will be required before hearings such as the court giving a number of directions. Fast track claims also last longer than small claims track claims - the standard period between allocation and the trial date is usually 30 weeks.
This track is for all other types of cases and can vary from simple disputes with a value of over lb25,000 to incredibly complex claims with trials estimated to last longer than one day and involving multiple experts.
Claims in the multi track are dealt with more flexibly and court directions may differ from case to case to cater to the complexity of these claims.
How we can help you?
At Saunders, we are litigation specialists and have extensive experience, especially with fast track and multi track claims. We endeavour to give you the best possible commercial advice and provide an initial free, no obligation consultation.