How many civil disputes end up in court?

The justice department has made available statistics for the number of civil court claims that proceed to a final hearing. They show that on average 1.6 million civil disputes are issued in the courts each year. Of those only 3-4% go to trial. There are a number of reasons why only a small amount of disputes go to trial including:

  • Some claims will not be responded to entitling the claimant to judgment in default;
  • Some claims will be determined early because an application prior to trial. Applications bringing the matter to a close can include a party obtaining summary judgment, because the merits of the other party’s claim are so low. Other ways to strike out a party’s claim include security for costs and unless orders;
  • Some claims will settle between the parties. Routes to settlement include written offers, round table meetings and mediation.

For those cases that do go to trial, the statistics identify the average number of weeks for the matter to proceed from issue to determination at trial.  You can see how your local county court performs by going to their website.

For more information on civil disputes call our Litigation team on 0845 0738 445 or email