A child (under 18) must be represented by a litigation friend. This is normally a parent of a child. However, Civil Procedure Rule 21.4 permits another person to act as a litigation friend if that person:
- can fairly and competently conduct proceedings on a child’s behalf
- has no interests adverse to the child, and
- will pay any adverse costs order made against the child (do not be concerned by this as you will benefit from a no win no fee agreement)
It is important to ensure that there is no conflict of interest in the claim between the litigation friend and the child, for example where the litigation friend was the driver of a motor vehicle involved in the accident and liability is not admitted by the defendant. In this scenario another family member should be the litigation friend for the child (not the driver).
Once a child reaches the age of 18 the appointment of the litigation friend comes to an end.
A court approval hearing
Should settlement of a claim be achieved in a child’s claim then the settlement must be approved by the court. This means there will always be a court hearing to ensure fair and appropriate compensation is paid to the child.
Compensation received by a child is paid directly into court by the Defendant. The Court invests and protects the money. Once a child turns 18 years old they can withdraw the money from the Court account.
Bringing a claim for a child can be complex. We suggest you always use the services of specialist lawyers. You are welcome to contact us for a free no obligation advice on