Until 22 May 2024, parties involved in proceedings where the Claimant was making a money claim for less than £10,000 could choose whether they wished to participate in the free mediation service offered by HMCTS.

That has now changed as a result of the coming into force on 22 May 2024 of a new Pilot Scheme: Practice Direction 51ZE – Small Claims Track Automatic Referral to Mediation (Scheme). The Scheme will run from 22 May 2024 until 21 May 2026 and will apply to all small claims issued on or after 22 May 2024 where CPR 26.6, as modified by the Scheme, applies to it, and where the only remedy claimed is or purports to be a specified monetary sum of less than £10,000.

For now, the Pilot Scheme will apply only to claims made “on paper” and not those commenced using Online Civil Money Claims. It will also not apply to road traffic accident or personal injury claims.

Relevant claims will now automatically be referred to the Small Claims Mediation Service, with the court retaining the power to impose sanctions at the trial of any claim to which the Scheme applies where a party has failed to attend mediation.

Griffin Law is a dispute resolution firm comprising innovative, proactive, tenacious and commercially-minded lawyers. We pride ourselves on our close client relationships, which are uniquely enhanced by our transparent fee guarantee and a commitment to share the risks of litigation.  For more details of our services please email justice@griffin.law or call 01732 52 59 23.


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