No. of Recommendations: 40

The statement that I made was in response to Gengulphus's point, not yours. And it was restricted to the context of County Court, which was what the original question was asking about.

What you actuallly said to Gengulphus (and the rest of us by default) was this:

I don't think the term "disputed" is particularly helpful either way. If A is alleged to owe money to B, it doesn't really matter whether A disputes it's validity or that A acknowledges it but just does not wish to pay it anyway. It amounts to the same thing because, either way, A isn't paying. A court will determine whether A owes the money or not.

The point I was making is that it is extremely important for me as a lawyer to know whether the debt is genuinely disputed or not. A debt that is genuinely disputed does not remotely "amount to the same thing" as a debt which the debtor simply doesn't want to or can't pay.

Although I used the example of insolvency proceedings it's just as important in a conventional County Court claim. Suing a debtor who has no defence to the claim is, even in the Cumbersome County Court, relatively quick and cheap. However, suing a defendant who does have a genuine dispute is extremely slow and can be extremely expensive.

It's therefore essential that I am able to assess the merits of the claim and any possible defence at the outset, in order that I can advise my client how to proceed.

If there's no defence I'll unleash the dogs of war and go for the jugular (if that isn't mixing metaphors!) But if I can see that there is a viable defence the emphasis will all be on attempting to achieve / force a settlement, perhaps by a Part 36 offer.

I hope this clarifies the position for you.
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