Should my claim be allocated to the small claims track?
Claims are ordinarily assigned to a track according to their financial value. Small claims are those below £10,000, fast track cases are those between £10,000 and £25,000 and multi-track are those over £25,000. However, the rules differ for personal injury claims.
Alongside financial value courts take into account a number of other factors, those factors are set out at Civil Procedure Rule 26.8 (1) and include the complexity of the factual, legal and evidential matters, the number of the parties and likely parties, the amount of evidence which may be required and the circumstances of the parties.
Trial length is often seen as an overriding factor in allocation, however the length of trial is not conclusive to which track a claim shall be allocated to. Claims can be allocated to a track with directions tailored to fit the claim. For example, a two day trial can take place on a claim allocated to the Small Claims Track.
Ultimately, Judges have discretion as to allocation. However, they will be strongly guided by the claims financial value. However, when a claim may be potentially suitable to more than one track, the full circumstances will be considered, predominantly the complexity of the matter.