Multi track claims involve court claims and claimants that seek awards that value more than £15,000 pounds or court cases that will result in a lengthy trial with considerable documentation. Multi Track cases are typically handled before the High Court. Unlike the standard small claims track cases and fast track cases, claimants will find multi track cases far more complex—significant documents will need to be filed and the expected trial will result in more than one day of examination.
Once the allocation form is completed by both parties, if the case is determined as a multi track case, the case will proceed to directions. Basically, an allocation—Form N150—will be sent to both the claimant and the defendant and if the case still merits that it be addressed by the High court, it will be assigned for a fixed court date. An allocation basically ensures that the case is being addressed by the proper court and that the case is not something that can be successfully or legally resolved in a small claims or fast track court.
Essentially, directions are precisely that—the court determines how the course of the fast track claim will be run, right down to the slightest of details. A timetable is established and the solicitors for the claimant and the defendant will meet with a procedural judge at a case management conference to establish all of the particulars. A timetable is established so that the fast track claim can be addressed and resolved in the fastest amount of time that the court can process the claim.
After the directions have been established, if the defendant and the claimant have not settled their dispute, they may be called a preliminary hearing if the judge deems it necessary. Typically, a preliminary hearing will consist of both parties receiving special directions from the judge or a judge may feel that the case is not strong enough to be presented in court and they will then strike the case. If the case is not stricken, the case will then proceed to a full hearing.
Multi track claims can be handled a number of ways and the judge may decide that the case will be heard on the basis of documents alone (referred to as a paper adjudication); whether the testimony of expert witnesses may be required or allowed, and the judge may predetermine how much time each solicitor has to argue their case. Ultimately, if a judge does not rule otherwise, a claimant’s case will be public—meaning that it is open to the public and members of the public can witness the proceedings as they transpire.
Multi track cases are resolved as quickly as possible and if the claimant receives a judgment in their favour they are often entitled to court fees, compensation for lost earnings, travelling expenses (within reason), and the cost of expert testimony. Of course, the defendant or claimant can appeal a decision made by the High court—that is if they can prove that something out of the ordinary has occurred. In other words, an appeal will not be considered simply because the claimant or defendant is unhappy with the end result of the case.
Unfortunately, even after a case has been successful resolved their may be more work ahead for the claimant. After receiving a judgement it may not be easy to receive it and some defendant’s avoid paying the judgement even after being ordered to do so. In such instances, the claimant can pursue a warrant of execution, an attachment of earnings, or a garnishee order so that the judgement will be enforced.