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  • FIRST POST
    • willh
    • By willh 14th Feb 18, 4:04 PM
    • 3Posts
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    willh
    Small claim against company registered in Scotland
    • #1
    • 14th Feb 18, 4:04 PM
    Small claim against company registered in Scotland 14th Feb 18 at 4:04 PM
    I had some work done on my house in England by a company which turns out to have its offices registered in Scotland. They didn't complete everything they quoted me for and are basically refusing to answer my requests to put things right, so the only way I can see me getting my money back is through the courts.

    The contract the company gave me ends with the following clause:
    These terms and conditions and all contracts awarded between the Company and the Customer shall be governed and construed in accordance with English Law and shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Law.
    so up until I tried to initiate a claim using the HMCTS Money Claim Online service, I assumed it would be a straightforward small claims action as helpfully detailed on the main MSE site. However the system point blank won't accept a Scottish address.

    I'd obviously prefer to keep the action here in England, but do I have the right to and is the clause agreeing to English jurisdiction enforceable? If so how do I initiate the claim without hitting the online system's roadblock? Otherwise, will the Scottish courts simply accept my claim and dismiss the assertion of English jurisdiction?
Page 1
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 14th Feb 18, 4:19 PM
    • 20,311 Posts
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    agrinnall
    • #2
    • 14th Feb 18, 4:19 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Feb 18, 4:19 PM
    If they didn't have that clause in then I'd say you'd have been out of luck and you would be forced to take action outside of the small claim track. But I'd say that does mean there's a pretty good chance that you can take action in England and using the small claim track, but you probably won't be able to use MCOL to do it for the reason that you've found. There is information about making a paper based claim here.

    https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 14th Feb 18, 5:14 PM
    • 12,416 Posts
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    unholyangel
    • #3
    • 14th Feb 18, 5:14 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Feb 18, 5:14 PM
    You can still file against them in the english courts without an english/welsh address, but you can't use MCOL.

    Their clause giving english courts exclusive jurisdiction wouldn't be enforceable anyway but its unlikely to concern you given it sounds like you're domiciled in england.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 14th Feb 18, 9:45 PM
    • 2,573 Posts
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    steampowered
    • #4
    • 14th Feb 18, 9:45 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Feb 18, 9:45 PM
    There is a difference between governing law clauses (i.e. clauses saying which law governs a contract) and jurisdiction clauses (i.e. saying in which courts litigation is permitted).

    They are completely different concepts. The clause you posted is a governing law clause. Not a jurisdiction clause. It isn't relevant to deciding where you can sue.

    As you are a consumer and the contract was performed in England, you have a choice as to whether you want to sue them in the English courts or the Scottish courts.

    If this company has a business address in the UK, use that.

    If you don't have a UK address, you can't use MCOL. Instead you complete form N1 and file it with the court. You will also need to complete form N510 and certificate of service form N215.

    Aside from this additional paperwork the rest of the process should be straightforward. Hope this helps.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 15th Feb 18, 8:22 AM
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    agrinnall
    • #5
    • 15th Feb 18, 8:22 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Feb 18, 8:22 AM

    If this company has a business address in the UK, use that.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    You seem to be confusing England (and possibly Wales) with the UK. Scottish addresses, as the OP has demonstrated, cannot be entered in MCOL.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 15th Feb 18, 10:54 AM
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    steampowered
    • #6
    • 15th Feb 18, 10:54 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Feb 18, 10:54 AM
    You seem to be confusing England (and possibly Wales) with the UK. Scottish addresses, as the OP has demonstrated, cannot be entered in MCOL.
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    Yes, that is a typo. I should have said 'If this company has a business address in England & Wales, use that.'
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 15th Feb 18, 12:59 PM
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    DoaM
    • #7
    • 15th Feb 18, 12:59 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Feb 18, 12:59 PM
    OP can only serve a claim against the E+W address if that is listed as a trading address for the business. (e.g. on a receipt or invoice received by the OP). If any paperwork refers to the Scottish address then that's the address for serving claims. In the absence of any address being on the paperwork then the registered company address applies.

    This is my understanding.
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    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 16th Feb 18, 4:28 PM
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    steampowered
    • #8
    • 16th Feb 18, 4:28 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Feb 18, 4:28 PM
    OP can only serve a claim against the E+W address if that is listed as a trading address for the business. (e.g. on a receipt or invoice received by the OP). If any paperwork refers to the Scottish address then that's the address for serving claims. In the absence of any address being on the paperwork then the registered company address applies.

    This is my understanding.
    Originally posted by DoaM
    The relevant part of the Civil Procedure Rules is available here: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part06#6.9

    It indicates that a company (which is not a company incorporated in England & Wales - e.g. a Scottish company) may be served at "Any place within the jurisdiction where the corporation carries on its activities; or any place of business of the company within the jurisdiction."

    As such, I don't think the address used for service necessarily needs to be the company's registered address or the address written on invoices.
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