What is a statement of claim?

A statement of claim is a prescribed process for commencing legal proceedings in New South Wales. It must comprehensively set out the relevant facts of the case, the breaches of law, the relief and orders sought.

A statement of claim needs to set out the legally relevant information and matters that make up your claim by the way of pleadings, being a written outline of all of the material facts and allegations. It is also often necessary to provide further detail to the more complicated facts and allegations by way of particulars. The purpose of the pleadings and particulars is to clearly identify for the court and the other side the nature of your case and the facts relied upon in support of the same. It sets the scope of the court proceedings and informs the other side of the case that it has to meet, thereby ensuring procedural fairness for the other side. It is equally essential that the statement of a claim provides adequate and legally relevant information to the defendant in regards to the allegations, as it is putting together a detailed case with high prospects of success. Accordingly, it is critical to your chances of a positive outcome to arrange for a solicitor prepare the statement of claim.

What is the difference between a statement and a claim?

A claim is your legal right to be paid the debt or sue for damages for a breach of contract or negligence. A claim can be liquidated, unliquidated or a combination of both (the latter considered as an unliquidated claim). A liquidated claim is when the relief sought can be quantified, for example, a claim to recover a debt. An unliquidated claim is relief claimed cannot be accurately quantified without further evidence, for example, a claim for damages for breach of contract or in negligence.

The statement is the formal legal document which details the claim and commences legal proceedings.

What is the cost of a SOC?

The cost of a statement of claim is determined by the nature and complexity of the matter and is subject to the relevant and presiding court with jurisdiction over the matter.

It has been noted in legal circles that less complicated issues may be charged in accordance with the Local Court of NSW’s scale of costs, being legal costs set by the Court and which are the amount of costs recoverable by you in the event of a successful claim.

Why should an ordinary person get legal representation to prepare a Statement of Claim?

It is necessary, even from the outset of a case, to consider the prospect of litigation. Before the Courts can adjudicate on a matter, the alleged facts (Pleadings) must be set out in the approved form, with a degree of uniformity; namely, the content, language and syntax, whilst complying with the formalities of the statement of claim (and more broadly, in legal matters that directly concern and may indeed be intervened by the Courts) to avoid, amongst other things, specific pleadings being struck out (or worse the entire case), or a request for a more detailed explanation of the facts and allegations as a result of inadequate and insufficient pleadings and particulars in the claim. Accordingly, a thorough knowledge of the operation and procedure of the judicial proceedings is thereby highly recommended.

If litigation is anticipated, below is a non-exhaustive list of considerations that are required in order to prepare a statement of claim:

  1. How to correctly set out the facts of your case with supporting information/documentation;
  2. Possible limitation periods;
  3. The relevant Causes of Action (i.e. the proper legal category for your claim);
  4. The relevant jurisdiction your case at hand falls under (i.e. which court has the jurisdiction to hear your case, whether one’s local, state, federal or indeed the High Court itself as the individual circumstances may transpire);
  5. Possible legal remedies.

It will undoubtedly be of benefit to our valued clients to engage with a firm of expert litigators, of proven knowledge and success in the field. 

Much more importantly, we have the legal know-how, experience and the dedicated, winning record to prepare your statement of claim.  Our representation will alleviate you from unnecessary costs and personal stress that would otherwise be incurred to yourself and your loved ones.

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