Skip to main content

Be prepared to mediate on your small claim

In August 2023 we discussed the proposed changes regarding mediation in the small claims track and HMCTS have now confirmed that parties will need to attend a mediation appointment as part of the court process on all small claim cases filed from 22 May 2024

HMCTS have confirmed that “attending a mediation session will become an integrated, required step” and it will apply to all small claims that involve a money dispute. 

A small claim is one which is generally a less complicated claim with a value lower than £10,000.

All parties must attend the mediation appointment however, there is no pressure on the parties to settle the dispute at the mediation appointment if an agreement between the parties cannot be reached. 

Following on from our previous article, it may appear that compulsory mediation has merely become a “box ticking exercise” however the process may be beneficial to litigants in person as an alternative “free” way to reach a settlement before proceeding any further through Court proceedings. 

Compulsory Mediation will only apply to issued claims however which does mean claimants will still have to incur an issue fee of up to £455 as well as any legal fees on top.

Plans for the future

HMCTS have confirmed that the requirement to mediate will be extended later this year to cover all small money claims under £10,000. 

This extension will place an obligation on all parties involved in disputes that fall within the remit of the small claims court submitted via the Online Civil Money Claims service will be required to attend a mediation appointment in an attempt to settle claims without the necessity to attend a court hearing for a judge to determine the outcome.

HMCTS have helpfully released a short video which explains what litigants can expect from the new mediation requirement.