After 2 years of correspondence with the Woolwich PLC, to no avail, I decided to lodge my
claim in the Small Claims division at the County Court.
The papers were served on the Woolwich PLC by the County Court on the 19th August 2000 Woolwich PLC had until the 4th September 2000 to respond. But the Woolwich did not respond
NOTE: 4th September 2000 Letter sent to all shareholders re:- RECOMMENDED OFFER BY BARCLAYS FOR WOOLWICH
I took the next step which was to apply for Judgment by Default, And I received this, dated 11th Septmeber 2000, ordering payment by Woolwich forthwith. I waited patiently until the 4th October 2000, and then applied to have my Judgment enforced. The Sheriff's Office applied straight away for the Certificate of Judgment, which would take about 2-3 weeks and require a form from the High Court to enable them to enforce the Judgment in my favour.
On the 11th October 2000, I received a letter from Addleshaw Booth & Co. Solicitors for the
Woolwich PLC stating they had made an application to the court, to be issued the same day to have the Judgment set aside, on the grounds that owing to an ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR, their had "...client inadvertently overlooked the service of the Claim Form. I received a second letter from them on the 14th October 2000, stating that their application would be heard on the 18th October 2000 at 9.45. again asking me to consent to their application. The application to the court stated that the reason was: The defendant has a real prospect of successfully defending the claim on the basis of Section C The papers had been inadvertently overlooked until the Defendant received the Judgment.
NOTE: Date of Judgment 11th September Date of Letter 10th October 2000 from Addleshaw Booth & Co Solicitors stating they were applying to have the Judgment Set Aside 1 month later
The result of the first hearing was that the Judge adjourned the case until 1st November 2000 as the Woolwich PLC would have to file and serve a full witness statement.
On the 27th November 2000 the Judge allowed the Judgment to be set aside. The Woolwich PLC would have to submit their defence to the court by the 10th December 2000.
When Addleshaw Booth & Co Solicitors filled in their Allocation Questionnaire for the court
case they applied for the case to be transferred to the Fast Track, and the stated time
required was 1 day. They also sent in a statement of costs incurred so far.
Note: I applied for the small Claim Track which meant no costs to myself. By the Solicitors
trying to upgrade the case to Fast Track would mean that had I lost then I would have been
liable for all their costs as well, plus I would also have required legal representation. Also I believe they were trying to intimidate me into submission by dropping my action
If you have indicated a track which would not be the normal track for the case,
give brief reasons for your choice
|1 The nature of the remedy sought||2 The complexity of the facts, law or evidence|
|3 The amount or oral evidence which may be required|
|4 The importance of the claim to persons in respect who are not parties to the proceedings|
|5 The views expressed by the parties|
|The defendant is understandably concerned in respect of the wider implications in relation |
to this claim, which concerns the demutualisation of the Woolwich Building Society and
the allocation of free shares to qualifying members. The defendant wishes to avoid a
precedent being set in this matter, and in our view the claim is not suitable for the small
|Applications if yes please give details:|
|We consider that the claimant's claim should be struck out for containing no reasonable grounds
for bringing the claim. The defendant is quite simply unable to vary or disapply the terms of the
transfer document which governed the legal conversion of the Woolwich into a Public Company.
|The Judge after looking at both questionnaires decided to keep the case in the
small claims section, and that it should be no longer than a day. The case was to
be on 25th June 2001 at 10.30am