Civil Court


Civil proceedings are civil cases that are dealt with in the County Courts.

Such cases may include:

  • Businesses trying to recover money they are owed
  • Individuals seeking compensation for injuries

More complex cases or those involving large amounts of money will appear at the High Court although the vast majority of civil cases take place in the County Courts.

Civil Court Structure England and Wales

The Civil Court System England and Wales handles non criminal cases such as compensation for injuries.

County Court

The County Court deals with all but the most complicated or high value civil proceedings. It may also deal with relatively low value cases where legal costs are not usually allowed, and when doing so is often referred to as the ‘Small Claims Court’.

High Court

The High Court deals with civil cases of a more substantial or complex nature, and is split into three Divisions:

  • The Chancery Division
    This deals with company law, partnership claims, conveyancing, land law, trusts, probate, and patent cases. It also hears appeals from the Tax Tribunal Upper Tier.
  • The Queen’s Bench Division
    This deals with contract and tort (civil wrongs), libel, and judicial reviews (when it is known as the Administrative Court)
  • The Family Division
    This deals with family law cases.

Court of Appeal (Civil Division)

The Civil Division of the Court of Appeal hears appeals from all Divisions of the High Court and in some instances from the County Courts and certain tribunals.

Civil Court Structure Scotland

Sheriff Courts

Sheriff Courts deal with three different types of case:

  • ordinary actions
  • summary cases
  • small claims.

The Court of Session

The Court of Session is the supreme Civil Court in Scotland. It sits in an ‘Appeal’ capacity. It also acts as a Civil Court dealing with disputes between people or organisations.