Summary Judgment: Three things you need to know.

This article provides an overview of the key information you need to know about the Summary Judgment process.

Summary judgment is a procedure by which the court makes a judgment against one of the parties on the whole of a claim or on a particular issue if it considers that:

  • A claim or issue or a defence to a claim or issue has no real prospect of success; and
  • There is no other compelling reason for a trial.

Set out below are the top three things to know about summary judgment.

  1. When is summary judgment appropriate?

The summary judgment process can be used in all cases – no matter how complex, but it is important to remember that the court will not conduct a mini trial, so summary judgment will not be appropriate where there are complex legal or factual issues that need to be investigated at a trial.

  1. The advantages of summary judgment

Summary judgment gives the applicant an opportunity for its case to be determined in its favour at an early stage and at a short hearing. The summary judgment process is generally much quicker than going to trial, so this will save time and costs.

There may also be a tactical advantage to an application for summary judgment as, even if the applicant is not successful, the other party will have been forced to set out its position and evidence at an early stage.

  1. The disadvantages of summary judgment

In order to defeat an application for summary judgment, the applicant must show that the other party has no real prospect of success. This is a high standard, and the other party only has to demonstrate that its case may succeed at trial.

It is important to note that the court has a wide discretion in relation to costs. If the application is unsuccessful, the applicant may be ordered to pay the costs of the other party, in addition to bearing their own costs.

Please call us on 020 7632 4300 or make an enquiry to see how our experienced dispute resolution solicitors can assist you with the summary judgment process.


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