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 How Do I Take My Commercial Dispute to the Circuit Commercial Court?

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If you experience a commercial dispute in your business, there are a wide range of ways to resolve it. This includes alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation and arbitration. You can also take court action, though commercial litigation should be a last resort as it can be costly and very time-consuming. If you decide on commercial litigation for your business dispute, you can do so through the Circuit Commercial Court. This article will explain how to take your commercial dispute to the Circuit Commercial Court in the UK.

What is a Commercial Dispute at the Circuit Court?

A commercial dispute is where you and another business or individual disagree on a particular matter when carrying out business activities. For example, it could be over the sales of goods or terms in a contract between the parties involved. The Circuit Commercial Court hears a variety of commercial disputes as well as business and professional disputes. This includes, for example, disputes about:

  • contracts;
  • business documents;
  • issues in the banking and final sector;
  • buying, selling and transporting goods; and
  • confidential information. 

The Circuit Commercial Court operates in several cities across the UK. Some, but not all, of these cities are:

  • London;
  • Birmingham;
  • Cardiff;
  • Liverpool;
  • Leeds;
  • Manchester; and
  • Newcastle.

How Do I Take My Commercial Dispute to the Circuit Commercial Court?  

Beginning proceedings for commercial litigation in the Circuit Commercial Court can be a complex process. To reduce uncertainty, we explain some of the key steps involved below. 

Take Preparatory Steps

Despite believing that commercial litigation at the Circuit Commercial Court is the best action for your commercial dispute, it is essential to get legal advice first. An experienced commercial or dispute lawyer can provide you with the insight and expertise necessary to ensure you are making an informed decision.

Also, unless your commercial dispute is urgent, you should contact the other party before you take your commercial dispute to the Circuit Commercial Court. You could do this by letter or email and detail:

  • key dates; and
  • issues you intend to cover.

When you contact the other party, you should try to settle the dispute out of court.

Fill in a Claim Form

If, after contact with the other party to the dispute, you still wish to go ahead with court litigation, you need to fill in a claim form. For commercial disputes, you will usually use a ‘Part 7’ claim form. However, if you do not dispute the issue’s central facts, for example, the interpretation of your contract, you should use a ‘Part 8’ claim form. After selecting the correct form, you can note on the top that you are claiming in the ‘Circuit Commercial Court’. 

Once you complete your claim form, you should take it to one of the Circuit Commercial Courts, or file it electronically and pay fees immediately. Alternatively, you can pay by post using a cheque or postal order. The court fee depends on the amount you wish to claim from the other party. For example, a claim of up to £300 is £35, and one up to as much as £10,000 is £455.

Serve the Claim Form

After you send the court your form, you should serve it on the other party to the dispute. In litigation, the other party is called the defendant. You can serve a copy of the form once the court sends it to you with a stamp of acknowledgement. You should include the following:

  • acknowledgement of the service form; and
  • notes.

At the same time, you can send the particulars of the claim or, instead, do so within the next 28 days. The particulars are detailed arguments about your case, and should not exceed 20 pages.

Monitor For Developments After Serving the Claim Form

Once you have served the claim form, you may send the other party a certificate of service, which proves that you have sent this and the other documents. The defendant should also acknowledge the claim. They have to do so within 14 days and can request further time to respond fully. However, once they have the particulars you sent, they have 28 days to respond. Where a defendant fails to respond, you can ask the court to decide the case in your favour. 

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Key Takeaways

As a last resort to a commercial dispute, you may decide to begin commercial litigation in the Circuit Commercial Court. Before you take action, you should seek legal advice and contact the other party to resolve the dispute in an alternative way. This may help you to avoid the costs and lengthiness associated with court proceedings. Starting commercial litigation has several key steps, including:

  • completing a claim form and returning it to the court;
  • paying relevant court fees;
  • serving the form, notes and particulars to the other party; and
  • sending a certificate of service to the court. 

If you need help beginning commercial litigation in the Circuit Commercial Court, LegalVision’s experienced disputes and litigation solicitors can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. Call us today on 0808 196 8584 or visit our membership page.

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Clare Farmer

Clare Farmer

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