What is a county court?

County courts are courts based in one or more counties in England and Wales. They deal with civil cases, including:

  • Landlord and tenant disputes, renting matters
  • Consumer claims
  • Accident claims and personal injury matters
  • Undefended divorce cases/proceedings to end a registered civil partnership
  • Discrimination cases
  • Debt matters
  • Employment-related cases

County court cases are generally heard at the court which has jurisdiction over the area in which the defendant lives. The vast majority of county court matters are decided by a District Judge or Circuit Judge sitting on their own (ie without a jury). Judges in county courts can be either former barristers or solicitors.

"Small claims court" matters (with a value beneath £5,000) are dealt with by county courts (small claims courts are not in fact separate entities).

The Good Lawyer Guide county court recommendations

The Good Lawyer Guide recommendations for County Court firms are those firms who will take on referred cases from other practices in different parts of the country. A law firm in Town A will often refer a case to a law firm in Town B who will represent their client in the county court that covers Town B.

Contact details for county courts

HM Court Service's website has full details of local county courts in England and Wales.

To find your local county court visit www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk