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Can the German company make a claim through the British Small Claims Court or do have to use the EU Small Claims Court system?

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I believe you can, but you are likely to have to travel to the UK if a hearing is needed. The EU system is designed to work from documents where possible and hence not need a hearing.

  • Thanks Paul. Main reason for asking the question was that a UK Court finding should theoretically be easier to action. I would assume that expediting any action by the EU Small Claims could be more protracted. – Mike Elliott Jun 4 at 13:57
  • In the UK if you have to collect on a court judgement then the options are here. gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/enforce-a-judgment I don't know exactly how this would interface with a judgement from the EU small claims court, but I would expect it to be straightforward. – Paul Johnson Jun 4 at 14:13
  • Thank you Paul - Very useful information. – Mike Elliott Jun 4 at 17:24
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You can. The claimant need not be present or domiciled within the UK for proceedings to be issued and served (since by issuing proceedings the Claimant thereby submits to the jurisdiction of the English courts)

As long as the defendant in this action is domiciled in the UK (for a company, this would be that they are registered in the UK, or that their principal place of business is in the UK, or that they have a registered branch office in the UK) you may serve proceedings on them. (You can also sue a foreign company in england, but that requires court permission)

See CPR 6, which governs service, for more information

  • It may or may not be necessary, but it would certainly be wise for a foreign company to instruct a solicitor. – Tim Lymington Jun 4 at 16:12
  • Yes absolutely. – Shazamo Morebucks Jun 4 at 16:29
  • Thank you for all your comments. I hear you with regards to instructing a solicitor but surely costs would seriously impact low value claims typically addressed by Small Claims court – Mike Elliott Jun 4 at 17:23
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    Although most small claims can be dealt without a solicitor or a barrister, (i.e. The claimant/defendant acts as a litigant in person), you are a foreign company, therefore it is simple much more convenient to have a legal representative. Remember that in English cases the losing party has to pay the (reasonable) legal costs of the winning party. Although to be honest such costs orders are unlikely to be made in small claims court unless the court that it was wholly proportionate to have representation – Shazamo Morebucks Jun 4 at 18:42
  • @ShazamoMorebucks Actually for small claims you can only claim reasonable attendance costs. These can include loss of wages, but thats going to be a lot less than the solicitor actually charges. – Paul Johnson Jun 4 at 20:40

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