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Civil Justice Statistics Show Sharp Increase In Claims

Irwin Mitchell's Commercial Litigation Experts Comment On Latest Statistics


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

The latest quarterly civil court statistics published by the Ministry of Justice detail the number of County Court civil claims being issued and also give some insight into levels of debt within the economy.

For the period from October to December 2016, the number of County Court claims issued increased by 19% to 473,000 claims, of which 369,000 were specified money claims.

Non-money claims, however, showed a steady decline and are currently at their lowest-ever quarterly level with just 70,000 claims being issued in the period.  Of this number, more than half of claims (36,000) related to mortgage and landlord possessions claims with just 3% concerning the return of goods.

As well as an overall increase in the number of claims being brought, there was also an increase of 7% (to 71,000) in the number of claims being defended.  Whilst the number of defended claims may have increased, the number of judgments for the period still increased by 33% to 287,000, of which a staggering 86% were default judgments.

Litigants in person remain a common feature in the civil courts.  The most recent MoJ statistics note that both sides had legal representation in only 54% of defended claims.

There has also been an increase in the number of trials that took place in the county courts of 15% (to 13,500) for the period October to December 2016. The average time for a small claim to reach trial was 30.4 weeks with claims over £10,000 taking an average of 54 weeks.