To be or not to be (represented)?

Litigant in Person

There is an increase in County Court Civil action cases where parties to proceedings are not legally represented, often known as litigants in person (LIP). The Ministry of Justice quarterly published figures showing that 44% of defended claims in the County Court were unrepresented between April – June 2018.

If you are involved in a dispute, it is important to consider the advantages and possible implications that may arise as a result of choosing to take the route of ‘self-representation’.

In the not so distant past, LIPs received a lax approach with the courts and Judges taking the view that ‘well they are not lawyers, so allowances must be made’, this however is no more. A run of decisions and, in the recent Supreme Court case of Barton v Wright Hassall (2018) UKSC 12 has meant this relaxed approach has been abandoned.

The LIP involved in the above case was unsuccessful in his claim because he failed to act in accordance with Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and as a result, retrospective valid service of his claim was dismissed. This was fatal to his potential claim being successful.

It is therefore important for any potential LIP to be aware that for any chance of success, compliance with the CPR is a must. Serious consequences for a claim can result for the unprepared LIP where they fail to comply with CPR. LIPs are treated the same as if they were legally represented now. Is it worth the risk to not be represented and fall foul of the rules?

If you would like us to consider a claim you are dealing with as a LIP and advise you of the likely costs of us representing you, please contact Emma Allen of our Dispute Resolution team here at Bradley and Jefferies Commercial Solicitors.

This entry was posted in Dispute Resolution, News and posted on November 9, 2018