John Pugh's Chambers

3 Shrewsbury Road
CH43 1UU

Specialist in consumer credit litigation

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John Pugh LLB (Hons)

Eileen Ashton JP LLB (Hons)
Practice Manager

Suzanne Thomas

I am a barrister specialising in consumer protection work.  My services are:

(a)  Advising on legal merits

(b)  Drafting key documents in a claim (claims and defences);

(c)   Advocacy at court:


In consumer credit cases just because you owe the money does not mean the debt is enforceable. The regulations are complex. The only thing you can be sure of is that your creditor will not tell you if they have breached regulations in your case. Scrutiny of the case brought against you often pays dividends.

Early advice can save you time, money, hard work and stress. It gives you an initial appraisal of your case, by someone who conducts such cases every day in court.

In routine consumer credit work I will send you a detailed questionnaire to complete, (with email follow up if necessary) to ensure I understand your case.

Then, based on what you tell me and the documents you show me I will advise you on the  merits of your case and formulate a case strategy for you which has two purposes, namely to present your best case in the event of a trial and to show your creditor you have a meritoriuos case and the determination to have it heard.

The best way to settle a case on good terms is to fight it hard from the outset and be seen to do so.

I cannot guarantee the outcome of disputed litigation for you. No one can. But I can give you an idea how strong or weak your case is, along with the reasons for my opinion, and advice how best for you to proceeed.


If you draft your own defence, you can unwittingly damage your own case.  The defence is the conerstone of your case. To draft it for you is the most important thing I can do for you. If you do it yourself you are unlikley to do yourself justice.

Creditors win more cases because defendants do not state their defences correctly at the outset, than for any other reason.  What you may think of as your main defence may turn out to be one of a number of defences open to you and not even the strongest one.


If instructed I will prepare your case, submit a skeleton argument where appropriate, provide the court will all necessary legal authorities and present your case in court.

Remember too that if your case does not merit legal representation at trial the preparation of a written case to submit to the court can ensure that no points in your favour are missed

Public access to barrister services:

Understanding the role of the public access barrister

Litigation (i.e your case) can only be conducted by tow people.  The first is you (as a litigant in person) the second is a solicitor (who puts his firm's name on the record for you and take over conduct of the case from you completely). No other means of conducting litigation is lawful.

As a barrister I do not conduct cases. I do individual items of work, if and when requested in the course of a case, as shown in the left hand column of this page. For example, in a consumer credit case:

  •  a solictor will usually ask a barrister to draft a defence, because it is a crucial document in the case and needs experience and skills they do not have.

  • a solicitor will also request a barrister to attend hearings as barristers are experienced in advocacy.

  • solicitors also seek advice from barristers at key moments in a claim, e.g. if settlement arises.

As a litigant in person you can use a barrister in a similar way.

The main difference in way a solicitor uses my services and you would do is that you would normally instruct me to advise at the outset of a case.

Because I have no control of your litigation I cannot offer funding solutions. If you atre a defendant you may have few options anyway.

But remember that you can you can use my services as much or as little as you wish.

For small claims I offer fixed fees.

I will never ask for money 'on account' of future fees generally.

I only quote for specified work and seek payment only for that specified quoted work.

Please go to my public access page or small claims fixed fees page for further information. And please make use of my self help page if it is of assistance to you. 

If there is no solicitor, who runs the case?

You do. Don't panic!  Here are some simple rules of thumb about runing your own case.

  1. Make a chronology of the facts of your case.

  2. Keep an ordered case file (on computer and in hard copy if possible).

  3. Keep attendance notes of all phone calls and significant events in your case.

  4. Keep a case diary so you never miss a deadline.

  5. Don't get involved in pointless arguments with the other side in correspondence. The defence is where you set your case out. the court is where you argue it.

  6. Comply promptly with the court's case management directions and keep proofs you have done so (especially proof of posting documents). Courts lose documents. Creditors sometimes choose not to see them. 

  7. If you can't get something done in the time given by the court or the civil procedure rules apply for a time extension before the time runs out. It is better never to miss a deadline tnha have to apply for relief from snactions for missing it.

  8. Always remember the object is to present a clear, coherent case and demonstrate willingness to let it go before a Judge.

  9. Keep your letters short, focussed and courteous.

  10. Read any information sheets that come with documents from the court carefully. 

  11. Make yourself familiar with the web sites that contain the statutes and court rules. Learn about the law that giverns your case.

  12. Use the self-help guidance in this site to help you with the routine parts of the case through to trial.


The main advantage of public access litigation for clients is cost. It provides a bridge between conducting your case, often as defendant, where there is no 'no win no fee' option, and being represented by a solicitor.

You can use the barrister at key stages in your case as much or as little as you wish. You have total control over finances. Fees are always quoted in advance for each item and only if you request the item of work.

For more information about Public Access to barristers from the web site of the Bar Standards Board click here.

Tel: 0151 236 5415        Email:        DX 14182 Liverpool 1