I can't believe I can't find this is in a search or FAQ, but I have looked.
I am considering taking a claim to the SCC and am concerned about the consequences if I lose. I am confident that my claim is reasonable, but the other party is a major retailer and if they dispute my claim then they would (I presume) have all sorts of solicitor costs.
Is there any way that I could end up liable for their costs of defending my claim?
I'd be extremely surprise if they get solicitors for the case to be honest. Further, I'm pretty sure that the practice in Ireland/UK is that each party pays their own legal fees.
There are no costs in the Small Claims Court, win or lose.
Small claims court fees are €25. Usually things are settled without a court appearance, if there is a court appearance you can represent yourself as a law litigant but the company will have to have legal representation, whether you choose to retain council is up to you, however it is advised
If they're a major retailer or a big company they won't even bother turning up to court meaning that you'll win by default. In most cases it would cost them more to turn up and defend themselves than they'll end up having to pay in default.
In my experience the mere threat of the SCC is enough to make them cough up...
A lay litigant can not retain Counsel.
Costs are easily dealt with, it's €25 and that's an end to it. Bear in mind you don't get your costs either and that includes the €25*. However one point to note is the other side can make a counterclaim, for example if you've had an item back to them half a dozen times for a perceived fault and no fault actually exists, there is a possibility they may claim for the costs involved for carriage/inspection etc. How likely they would be to succeed is not for me to comment on.
*If someone could remind me what the Latin term for cutting out small claims is, I would be most grateful.
EDIT Just noticed the OP is from Jan 2012