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full report from an entertaining afternoon at Kingston County Court **MUST READ**


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Along with 30-40 others I was at Kingston upon Thames County Court this afternoon for a direction hearing with Barclays bank amongst others.

I know a lot of people are nervous about the possibility of going to court so I took a few notes with a view to reporting back and I must be honest it was a couple of hours of excellent entertainment.

First of all the cast.

The judge was a very well presented and instantly likeable bloke. A bit like Ken Barlow on Coronation Street. It was clear from the start that he wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to entertain in front of what was a capacity crowd in Court Two.

On the front row representing Barclays was a youngish lady in her late twenties looking every inch the up and coming Lawyer, impeccably dressed, hair tied up, small bifocals. She had a huge file in front of her containing the details of all the dreadful people who had the nerve to challenge Barclays.

To her left was a rather distinguished duo who were representing a No win No fee company and subsequently it turned out were representing a significant number of the claimants listed for the day

Directly behind them, relegated to the 2nd row was the rather sad looking figure representing Lloyds TSB. Compared to the snappy dressers in the front row he was clearly 2nd division and if on the off chance your reading this treat yourself to a new tie. No one is going to take you seriously wearing that!!!

The rest of the court room was packed with 30-40 claimants and you could cut the atmosphere with a knife as everyone was thinking the same “ Please don’t let it be me called first”

The first business of the afternoon was to deal with some overspill from the morning involving Lloyds. 3 or 4 cases had clearly been settled as a result of some frantic phone calls during the lunch break. The case names were mentioned and the bloke from Lloyds repeated several times weve settled. There appeared to be a dispute about the account number on one of these cases as the claimant had written the wrong number on his schedule.

Sensing his opportunity the man from Lloyds jumped to his feet shouting “Move to strike out the claim” “Don’t be ridiculous” retorted the judge “just put the correct account number on the schedule” We will settle” mumbled the man from Lloyds somewhat disheartened by his failure.

I personally don’t like to kick a man when he’s down but the judge showed no such sympathy. “Are you a barrister,” he asked “ No he replied” “ A legal clerk” no” “What are you then” asked the judge “ I used to be an old managing clerk”

A slight titter could be heard from the big hitters in ringside seats as the man from Lloyds buried his face in his papers.

Then from nowhere appeared a flighty young lad, plonked himself next to the Barclays barrister and in a lawyer sort of way gained the attention of the Judge. He was representing the bank of Ireland and needed to get away quickly so could he go first.

The judge obliged and the claimant in this case stood up. The flighty man from Ireland informed the judge that everything had been sorted out (They Settled) and the claimant had consented to the case being withdrawn. The judge asked the claimant if he agreed “ absolutely” he replied “I’ve got to get back and open up my pub and by the way there’s a Gin and Tonic waiting for you on the house”

The judge smiled “I better not but I’m sure my clerk could do with one”

Things had started well for the claimants and you could feel the relief in the court.

Next up was Nat West or well they would have been had they turned up. The claimant informed the judge that they had agreed to settle but he hadn’t had the money yet. The judge agreed to an adjournment to allow time for the money to be paid.

The young claimant wasn’t finished there. “Id like to apply for costs” he demanded. The judge didn’t look at all fazed and asked what he would like. Buoyed by this the claimant produced his civil procedure book, no doubt purchased from this site, and started to quote from it.

The judge appeared caught by surprise and stopped him. “ If you are going to start quoting civil procedure rules we are going to have to put you at the end”

The claimant left a bit crest fallen but lived to fight on later in the day.

It was then time for the first of the many Barclays cases. The case was called, the pristine Lady from Barclays flicked to the correct page in her huge file with ruthless efficiency.

Distinguished gent to her left rises and states he represents the claimant.

Pristine Lady states that Barclays have not received a schedule of charges so could not deal with the claim.

Distinguished gent states “that’s a bit surprising as they are stapled to the back of the Form N1 of which you have a copy”

Judge agrees and there is an uncomfortable silence as the pristine lady ruffles thru her papers.

“Ill have to take instructions”

“You do that” states the judge!! Adjourned for Barclays to get their Act together.

Then followed about 7 or 8 Barclays cases with the same outcome.

"No schedule of charges" she muttered.

I’ve sent them to you a hundred times shouted the claimant.

"Ill have to take instructions" ever more quietly

Then came the first mention of expenses from one of the claimants. “I’ve had to take a day of work to come here can I claim costs”.

The judge seemed receptive “What is your job” he asked

“Telephonist” she replied

How long have you been here?

“3 hours”

How much do you earn?

“£7 an hour”.

“That seems reasonable to me costs awarded £21”.

You could here the cogs werring in the brains of the claimants as they sniffed an opportunity.

Every case after that the opportunity for costs was ruthlessly exploited

“What do you do for a living sir?”

“Consultant sir” states the defendant

“How much do you earn an hour?”

“£50” stated the defendant

“How long have you been here?”

“Since this morning sir”

“£270 costs awarded”

“What about my car park bill that’s another £10”

“£280 costs awarded.”

One optimistic claimant even tried to get Barclays to pay for the possibility that she may be clamped in the local car park.

That was one step to far for the ever-generous judge who with a wry smile politely refused.

Next up Abbey National. Several defendants were awarded judgements and costs on an ever-increasing scale as Abbey couldn’t be bothered to turn up

Even the man from Lloyds was joining in the party. Realising that he was on the wrong side of a bit of a hiding he started advising one of the Abbey national claimants on how to calculate 8%.

One claimant from alliance and Leicester (Who also failed to turn up) was despatched from the court by the judge to find a calculator so he could add up the daily interest rate.

amongst the carnage There were a few successes for the banks

A couple of Barclay’s claimants failed to turn up and their claim was struck out. The not so pristine lady from Barclays asked for costs.

“How much do you earn” asked the judge.

Surly she wasn’t going to answer !! She muttered, stumbled then came out with the old favourite “ Ill have to take instructions”

The judge took sympathy on her and adjourned the hearing pending costs.

A couple of other significant things happened.

Alliance and Leicester had written to the judge stating they were going to defend one claim. The defendant was furious.

“They should have been here then” he snorted.

The judge with another crippling blow ordered full disclosure by the A & L within 14 days or their defence would be struck out

He calmed the claimant by informing him that he need do nothing and he should expect some sort of offer of settlement as soon as they receive that letter.

Several claimants asked if members of their family could speak on their behalf and this was allowed although to be honest it wasn’t necessary.

I left the court just after 3.30 having witnessed a complete route of the banks on almost all fronts.

Lessons learnt.

Don’t be afraid of the court

Do turn up

Have all your paperwork with you

Work out your costs and settlement figure before hand

I know this is only one court in one part of the country but hopefully this will encourage everyone to keep at it.

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This is a fantastic post.


Everyone on this forum should read this, I loved the humour of the Judge and your observations were excellent well done!


I am more fired up and ready for these banks, thank you!

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totally agree with money fantastic post

and yes everybody on the forum should read it

you hear the word court mentioned and straightaway dread and panic set in

brill post



A-Z Index








HOW NOT TO CLAIM...Click here!




.please remember that any advice i give is purely my own experience or opinion thankyou

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Just a question on this, if you go to court having agreed a settlement but not received funds, and the Bank's representative states that a settlement has been agreed, aren't the bank then breaching the confidentiality of the 'Without Prejudice' they put on their own letters? Even more so if your acceptance states 'Without Prejudice' too?

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I wouldnt have thought so, as all they are saying is an agreement has been reached, and are not going into the details of it, they are not disclosing any information on the letters ect, although i could be wrong and if i am i apologise, but thats the way i see it.


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Great post rb - well done indeed.


A well done to that Judge!!!




Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.



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cheers roger...a good read


i bet when people heard they could claim costs they were begging to go last!

"Banks are people that will lend you an umbrella when it's sunny, but demand it back the minute it starts raining"


Brad v Halifax

22/08/06 - Preliminary Letter sent requesting full repayment of charges

06/09/06 - LBA sent to bank

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ICY....... you are correct in your post ref "Without Prejudice". If no details mentioned then they are not btreaking any confidentiality.


Bloddy brilliant post. Why can't we have more like this :D


Good confidence booster and factual layout for all those peeps brown-trousering at the thought of Court. Well done! ;)

srfrench :eek:


Fight incompetance, stupidity, greed and unfairness......There's no excuse and no place for it in society, unless they really are! :wink:

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Just a question on this, if you go to court having agreed a settlement but not received funds, and the Bank's representative states that a settlement has been agreed, aren't the bank then breaching the confidentiality of the 'Without Prejudice' they put on their own letters? Even more so if your acceptance states 'Without Prejudice' too?


If there is an agreement reached between the parties, effectively the documents loose their without prejudice status and can be disclosed to the court.


Otherwise, it would be difficult to enforce an agreement based on without prejudice documents in court, as you would not be able to produce evidence of the agreement.

If I have been helpful please click on my star and add a comment.

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A great big thanks to the OP for posting this. I have nearly fell off my stool 4 times whilst reading your post. Laughing.. Hilarious and a really good read too!!


Scales tipped for sure..


thanks again

be safe

Nige aka JGG

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Thanks for all your green dots Ive never had so many. Its a bit of a sickener that alot of claims have been put on hold due to the test case but I soppose it had to happen in the end.


I for one think that the banks should stop charging the excessive fees until the case has been finished one way or the other. Someone else on the site also made a valid point. If the bank or one of the DCA are going for a CCJ against someone and there are these charges involved surly that can also be put on hold pending the result. That would probably put a few DCAs out of business which can only be good.


Ive been a member of the site almost since the start and Ive been astounded by what has been achieved and theres no reason why such a large group such as the CAG and MSE cant influence the way banks conduct themselves.


weve managed to force them into a very risky court case, a course of action which Im sure they wouldnt have done if they thought they could have avoided it.


Im going to concentrate on the credit cards for a few months to keep my hand in and look forward to resuming battle with the banks in due course.



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