I'm pursuing a claim for about £100 against a company in the UK courts. Both sides agree that this should be allocated to the Small Claims track.
I'm on the south coast, the defendant is based in London, and the defendant's agent who actually overcharged me is based in Luton (near London). However the defendant has retained a solicitor in Liverpool, in the north of England, and has asked for the hearing to be held up there.
The train fare alone is likely to exceed the amount in question, and depending on the times I may have to stay overnight. The same is likely to apply if the hearing is down south and their solicitor has to travel from Liverpool to attend.
Is the hearing likely to be up in Liverpool merely on the strength of their chosen solicitor?
Conversely, if the hearing is allocated to my local court, or a London one, is other side going to be able to claim the cost of time and travel for a solicitor to come all the way down from Liverpool, given that they chose to hire a solicitor from so far away?
Edit, in response to comments:
I'm doing this as a test case for a large group of people who have all been overcharged in the same way. Hence I'm prepared to go to all this trouble over a comparatively small amount for me individually because it adds up to several thousand over the group.
The claim has been filed on-line with the Northampton County Court Business Centre, from where it will be allocated to a local court. I've asked for my local one and the solicitors in Liverpool have asked for their local one.