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Covid, claims and the courts

10 March 2021

The Ministry of Justice has recently released its civil justice statistics for the period October to December 2020. These statistics show an overall significant downward trend in claim activity compared to pre-Covid times.

The number of County Court claims for money is down by 12% (net across specified and unspecified money claims) when compared to the same period in 2019. The number of claims defended is down 5% and the number of claims going to trial is down by 23%. The number of judgments is down by 32% and enforcement applications down by 40%.

However the mean time taken from the issue of the claim to hearing has risen for multi-track cases (claims valued above £25,000) to 73.9 weeks, some 13 weeks longer than in 2019.

A number of Courts have built up significant backlogs during the pandemic and case management progress appears to have slowed. From these statistics, it appears that the desire to litigate has fallen generally. As the country and the economy starts to re-open and recover and the Courts catch up on their backlogs, we anticipate the number of claims issued will rise and may well even exceed the pre-Covid figures. Watch this space.

If you have held back on commencing a dispute during Covid, do get in touch to see how we can help.

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