Why it's important to start a claim properly
In the past, parties were able to start court proceedings and then amend them later on, sometimes at a very late stage, with little or no problem. In recent years, the court's attitude has changed, and it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that court proceedings are started correctly at the very outset.
In the recent High Court case of Kimathi v Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the court refused to allow further claimants to be added to group litigation, after the trial had started.
The claimants had made an application for relief from sanctions, in the hope that the Judge would exercise his discretion and allow the claims to be joined to the proceedings. However, the application failed and the new claimants were not allowed to join the claim.
Admittedly, trying to add new claimants after a trial had started was always going to be an uphill struggle. But the Judge said that there was no good reason for the failure to bring the claims at the appropriate time, and this could be applied to any court proceedings.
This case once again illustrates the importance of starting a claim properly. It is vital for anybody contemplating starting court proceedings to obtain expert legal advice at the very outset.
At Samuels Solicitors in Barnstaple, North Devon, we have a wealth of experience in assisting clients at the very outset of their claims. Getting a lawyer involved at an early stage can also mean that a case is more likely to settle, without the need to go to court at all.
If your case cannot be settled, we will be able to advise you at an early stage how your claim should be set out, and which court you need to use. The court that you need to start your proceedings in can be different, depending on your type of case. For example, a boundary dispute, a libel claim, or a claim about your inheritance, would potentially need to be started in different courts.
We can also advise you whether there are any funding options which might be available to you to help with legal fees.
We assess any matter initially for free, so contact us today for a no obligation discussion about how we can help.