17.3 C
HomeLegal NewsThanet County Court has longest waits for civil cases in the country

Thanet County Court has longest waits for civil cases in the country

Research showing staggering civil court delays – with some cases taking over a year for a first hearing – has been revealed.

The east of England is the region performing worst in England and Wales, with an average of 350 days elapsing between a claim form being served and a case completing its first costs and case management conference (CCMC).

The south east and north east were the next worst performers in the analysis of 8,500 fast and multi-track claims, carried out by carried out by Express Solicitors and the Association of Consumer Support Organisations.

Thanet County Court in Margate keeps people lingering longest as its cases take 456 days to come to a CCMC.

Chelmsford (426 days), Reading (424) and Bournemouth (394) were also bottom of the pile.

Yorkshire and the Humber is the best-performing region of England and Wales, with an average wait time of 210 days for civil cases.

North west and West Midlands are second and third with an average wait of 236 and 235 days respectively.

James Maxey, managing partner of Express Solicitors, said: “Our clients cannot move on and get back on track with their lives if they face such a long wait. Many of them have been injured in road traffic accidents, or are fighting for compensation after suffering an injury at work.’

Statistics published by the Ministry of Justice in March showed that from October to December 2021 the mean time taken for small claims to go to trial was 51.4 weeks – 14.3 weeks longer than the same period in 2019.

Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of ACSO, said: “The government has blamed Covid for our courts chaos, but our justice system has been starved of funding for years before the pandemic. The rule of law is too important to be allowed to wither on the vine, and we call on ministers to address these delays with urgency!”

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “Despite the impact of the pandemic our timeliness figures in civil courts remained stable over 2021 thanks to the swift action we took – including introducing Covid-secure courtrooms and remote hearings.

“We are also allowing courts to hear as many cases as possible and investing an extra £324m in the over the next three years to improve timeliness in civil and family courts and tribunals.”


latest articles

explore more


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here