CourtCorrect Helps Students Get Compensation For Poor University Services During Covid

London tech start-up is offering digital advice and making students aware of their options, including up to £5000 compensation

The CourtCorrect Team | 31 May 2021

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While the elderly and people with severe medical conditions are most obviously endangered by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, another group of victims has often been overlooked. In-person teaching suspended, facilities closed, parties cancelled – students have seen their normal lifestyle disrupted as they are confined to isolation, not few of them in particularly harsh conditions in student accommodation. Despite this, many are still being confronted with steep bills by universities and landlords – for services that they no longer need or have never even received.

With a digital free-legal-support offering specifically for students, London tech start-up CourtCorrect is aiming to give them a voice.

Free legal advice for students facing hardship

“We are aware that many universities are working hard to live up to their commitments, even in difficult times as these,” says Ludwig Bull, CEO of CourtCorrect.

“But still many students are coming to us who have been subjected to, frankly, unacceptable conditions and are not aware of their options to stand up for themselves. As our mission is to increase access to justice, it seemed just natural to set up a comprehensive support scheme.”

Students that have faced problems with their universities due to the coronavirus, such as lectures that were cancelled without replacement, are invited to submit their claim through CourtCorrect’s digital legal platform. CourtCorrect’s very own legal team will assess the merit of the claims with the help of predictive AI. If the chances of success are reasonable, claims will be prepared for adjudication.

Ombudsman services, extra-judicial settlement, OIA

CourtCorrect is thereby also raising awareness of low-risk, extra-judicial routes to justice that not enough people are making use of. One example are the government’s ombudsman services and small claims courts that resolve disputes for little or no charge.

The ombudsman service for higher education, OIA, may award up to £5,000 to individual students for shortcomings in their education. However, knowledge of it is not wide-spread and the submission process remains inconvenient for users. CourtCorrect is on the way to change that. The service is free for students and entirely digital. CourtCorrect only charges a success fee of 10% if a claim yields financial compensation.

Several hundred claims have been assembled like that so far. Among them are students from Cambridge negotiating with their college about rental contracts and students claiming for compensation for missing out on teaching hours without substitute.

A process that is fair to both sides

“What is most interesting about this, is that while we have received many claims from students and we helped a sizeable number to settle their cases, this still hasn’t led to a flood of compensation awards,” Mr Bull says.

“Clearly, providing easy access to justice like this helps meritorious cases get their due – but it does not cause undue pressure for organisations. On the contrary, our user-friendly process reduces the workload for both sides.

“This shows that what we are building can be a model to provide access to justice on a much larger scale in the future.”

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