How to Solve Your Small Claim Without Going to Court

13 December 2021
Considering taking your small claims dispute to court? It’s worth considering mediation first. Whilst mediation isn’t compulsory, it’s highly recommended that you explore this route before deciding to commit to the formal court process. Our team explores what mediation is, how it can help you resolve your small claim and how you can benefit from it.
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If you’re thinking about beginning a small claim court proceeding, it’s important to ensure that you understand all of your options. Here at John Fowlers Solicitors, we’re experienced in helping clients with a range of legal issues including providing settlement advice. Below, we’ve included some information on small claims and how mediation works. 

What is considered to be a small claim? 

A small claim typically refers to simple cases that don’t involve large amounts of money, they usually do not exceed £10,000. Small claims also don’t tend to be about complicated or serious issues. Generally, these claims revolve around debt and consumer claims. 

What is mediation?

Mediation is a popular alternative to pursuing a claim through the formal court process. All parties involved will work with a trained mediation professional who will help to identify the issues and will work with you to resolve them. You’ll find that there are many benefits to mediation including giving you more control over the outcome, providing solutions tailored to your circumstances, and it’s often quicker too. The Small Claims Mediation service is also free, impartial and less formal than court proceedings. 

How does mediation work? 

Your appointed mediator will arrange an appointment at a convenient time for everyone involved. During the sessions, an overview of the issues will be given before working together to try and develop solutions. Your mediator will not force you to come to an agreement and will remain neutral throughout. If an agreement can be reached, each party will receive a legally binding standard settlement agreement. 

How can mediation help with my small claim dispute?

When you open a small claims court claim in England and Wales, you’ll be given the opportunity to be referred to a mediation service. The mediation service will work with all parties involved to resolve an amicable settlement, eliminating the need for a formal court process. In some cases, if you unreasonably refuse to try mediation, it can count against you in court. However, this largely depends on the circumstances and is at the discretion of the judge. 

How will I know if mediation is right for me?

Generally, mediation works best if all parties agree to approach the sessions with an open mind. If you’re feeling nervous or apprehensive about the prospect of attending court, it might be worth considering mediation. Mediation is a much less formal process and is often quicker too, unlike court which can take months to sort. The mediation process can help to reach an amicable resolution to the issue. Used to help resolve a wide range of issues, mediation helps families to reach positive resolutions. If you’re interested in finding out more about this, check out our article on family mediation and how this can help. 

Here at John Fowlers Solicitors, we’re proud to have over 90 years experience serving families and individuals across the region. Our team of lawyers are experienced in delivering specialist mediation and settlement advice. Get in touch with our team of experts in Essex today and find out how we can help you.

Have an enquiry? Speak to our expert team of solicitors in Essex today.