What are Small Claims in the County Court?

This is a relatively informal arena for claims up to £10,000. Legal costs are not usually available to either side, but refunds of court fees and expenses are available to the winning side. There are rules to help claimants who cannot attend and the whole idea is that this is an informal court where barristers and the like are not appropriate. This court is held throughout the country and there is even a new on-line version being piloted.

The main problem with the small claims regime is that not all cases that should be allocated to it are allocated to it meaning that litigants can suddenly be confronted with a highly legalistic situation.  UK courts are largely designed by and for lawyers unfortunately and the official information about the accessibility of the small claims arena is not always matched by the reality.