N1 Claim Form: How to Make a Small Claim

by | Jun 22 2021 | Civil Litigation, Small Legal Services

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what is an n1 claim form? | 5 minute read

In the UK, the small claims court is a separate court designed for more simple cases involving financial compensation. Usually, you can use the small claims court if the service you received wasn’t up to standard. If you intend to make a small claim, there are specific steps you’ll need to take before you go to court. These will include writing a “letter before claim” and filling in your claim form, known formally as an N1 claim form.

“A small-claims court is a specialised tribunal created by statute, with specific duties and powers. It is designed to provide a judicial determination of disputes involving small amounts of money. Its procedure is significant for inexpensiveness, speed and simplicity.”

OHN S. BRADWAY, Duke University, Durham, N. C.

What is a small claim?

Small claims are usually when a person tries to claim financial compensation from another individual, organisation or company. Small claims can vary hugely, from minor claims such as an unfair parking ticket, to claiming thousands of pounds from a contractor who has provided a poor service. In England, a small claim can only come to a total of £10,000, and anything larger than this will need to go to the civil courts. Small claims are generally for things like:

  • A faulty product
  • Poor or negligent service 
  • Being owed a refund 
  • Disputes with an individual over a work contract or with quality of work
  • If you’re owed money for your services
  • You may also have to attend small claims court if someone is suing you and the claimant wants financial compensation.

You’ll need to state the exact details of your claim in your N1 claim form. However, if you are the defendant not the claimant, you won’t need to fill in an N1 claim form. 

How do i make a small claim?

For a cheaper and easier alternative to court, you could try and use mediation first. This is where an impartial 3rd party will try to sort out your differences to prevent them from going to court.

However, if you decide to start a small claim, you’ll need to gather evidence such as photos or documents that support your case. Before you fill in your N1 form, you’ll need to draft a “letter before claim” which documents your complaint and your intent to pursue action.


What is an N1 claim form?

An N1 claim form is a letter of claim that will be sent to your local court where you intend to start court proceedings. You can find the N1 claim form on the Gov website. Once you have filled in the N1 claim form you’ll need to print out 3 copies: 1 for you, 1 for the court and 1 for the defendant. 

The N1 claim form will outline personal details (such as name, number and address) of both claimant and defendant. You will then need to give some details of your claim, along with the approximate value. The form will also ask you to add your particulars of claim, which is essentially a statement of truth about your case.

When would I need an N1 claim form?

N1 claim forms aren’t only for small claims. You can also use an N1 claim form if you intend to take a claim to civil court for financial compensation of over £10,000. For example, if you are the victim of discrimination or poor treatment from a service provider, you could claim at the civil court within 6 months of the discrimination taking place. However, the court will need to see that you have made every effort to resolve your complaint before taking it to court. If you need to take a case to the civil courts, get in touch today, and we’ll put you in contact with the perfect legal partner for your case. 


Is it going to be cost-effective?

The largest problem with taking a claim to the small claims court is whether or not it will be cost-effective for you.

Regardless of whether or not you use a lawyer for your case, you will always have to pay a court fee to make a claim. In most cases, the court fee will be approximately 5% of the value you are claiming, plus interest. You may also have to pay other fees along the way, although you could claim these back from the defendant when the case closes. You can check how much your court fees will be by using a claim calculator.

when do i need to involve a lawyer?

If you need assistance with your N1 claim form, a lawyer will be able to help you and talk you through the process. Whether you do or don’t need legal representation will depend on the nature of the claim. If you have a small claim of £5,000-£10,000, then it will be worth having a consultation with one of our partners. This way, you’ll have a clear outline of your options and how our partners will represent you in court. Similarly, if you are being sued in small claims court and want to contest this, our partner firms can represent you. 

However, if your small claim is less than £5,000, you can represent yourself in court. Representing yourself in court can be more cost-effective than working with a lawyer, especially if your claim is on the comparatively lower end. Click here to find out more about representing yourself in court.

do you have a small claim worth more than £5,000?

If you need our help with a small claim, get in touch with our team and we can point you in the right direction.

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