In brief: Small claims gets the thumbs-up

The majority of litigants who use the county court small claims procedure are satisfied with the way their cases are dealt with, according to a report, Small Claims Procedures in County courts in England and Wales, funded by the Economic & Social Research Council, the Lord Chancellor's Department and the Office of Fair Trading. The main criticism was that six months after a hearing, fewer than 33 per cent of plaintiffs had received payment. The report comes only months after the small claims limit was raised from £1,000 to £3,000. It was designed to assess how effectively the small claims procedure fulfils its stated aims of providing an inexpensive, less legally complex resolution of disputes.