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Representation at a small claims hearing

Small claims proceedings are designed so that litigants in person can act for themselves. In accordance with the Lay Representatives (Right of Audience) Order 1999,17 a party to a small claims action may present his own case at the hearing or a lawyer or lay representative may present it for him (PD 27, para 3.2(1)). A lay representative is defined as a person other than a barrister, solicitor or a legal executive employed by a solicitor (PD 27, para 3.1). A party may, therefore, have any person present his case at a small claims hearing. A lay representative cannot exercise a right of audience in the following circumstances: • if his client does not attend the hearing; • at any stage after judgment; or • on any appeal against a decision of the district judge in the proceedings

(Lay Representatives (Right of Audience) Order 1999 and PD 27, para 3.2(2)).