The Ministry of Justice has published the county court statistics for the 3rd quarter of 2017. They reveal a significant increase in the number of specified and unspecified money claims being issued over the last 12 months (13% and 10% respectively). There has also been an increase of 2% in the number of claims being defended and an 11% increase in the number of claims running to a trial.
In light of the above, it is perhaps unsurprising that the number of judgments has increased by 24% in comparison to last year to 353,000 (of which 87% are granted in default) and that claims are taking longer to be listed for trial. The average waiting time for a small claim to be listed for trial after issue is 32 weeks (an increase of 1 week) and for fast and multi-track matters 56.5 weeks, an increase of 3.5 weeks compared to the same time last year.