Disputes over £10,000 (£5,000 in Scotland)
In County Court proceedings involving sums of more than £10,000, each party has to pay its own costs, and the unsuccessful party also has to pay the other party’s costs. These may be substantial and while individuals can represent themselves, it is advisable to instruct a solicitor. Note that even if you are successful, not every cost incurred is recoverable.
As with small claims, the rules of court encourage parties to settle their cases out of court. The Civil Procedure Rules provide an opportunity for both claimants and defendants to inform the other side what will be acceptable to settle a dispute without recourse to a trial. If a party does not accept an offer made under Part 36, it risks being made liable to pay more in interest and/or costs on a judgment than if no offer had been made.1Part 36 CPR Parties to litigation involving larger sums must ensure that they comply with the Civil Procedure Rules and directions and orders from the court in terms of supplying and filing documents to the other party and the court. Both claims and defences may be struck out by the court or parties subject to sanctions from the court where procedural rules are not followed.2Oak Cash and Carry Ltd v British Gas Trading Ltd  EWCA Civ 153 Decisions to strike out cases or apply sanctions may be appealed where there is a reason for failure to comply. The Court of Appeal gives an example: ‘if the reason why a document was not filed with the court was that the party or his solicitor suffered from a debilitating illness or was involved in an accident, then, depending on the circumstances, that may constitute a good reason.’3Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd  EWCA Civ 1537
In Scotland, a claim over £5,000 goes through the ordinary cause procedure.