How long will it take?

It is hard to give a firm guide on how long your case might take because so much depends on the nature of your case and especially how your opponent reacts. All we can give here is a general guide.

Court rules generally require that the first thing to be done is to write to your opponent setting out your claim and seeking their response. The guidelines indicate that after acknowledging that letter, they should usually be allowed up to three months to respond.

After that point there should be a reasonable period for negotiations and further discussions. How long that period will be depends on many factors but mostly on how your opponent responds.

If they completely reject your claim the period may be brief and the same will obviously be the case if they accept it. Things may be more protracted if they partially accept your claim or want to drag things out.

If an agreement cannot be reached at this stage, you may issue court proceedings. At that point, we are in the hands of the court and the timetable they impose. The parties will have some input into the timetable but this is generally the stage that takes longest because everything depends on the court and the availability of judges, etc. to deal with the case.

The court service is incredibly overburdened and cases can take a long time to reach trial. We would normally expect a case to reach trial within a year or so of the case starting but it can take several years depending on the size of the case and what happens along the way.
We could only give a more detailed estimate after seeing you and discussing your case in detail.