After a claim has been served
After a claim has been served

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • After a claim has been served
  • Action following service of a claim
  • Timing
  • Proper service
  • Identity of the defendant
  • Limitation
  • Jurisdiction
  • Preparing defence
  • Additional claims/parties
  • Multiple defendants
  • more

Action following service of a claim

After particulars of claim are served on a defendant, the defendant can:

  1. file or serve an admission for all or part of the claim

  2. file a defence, or

  3. file an acknowledgement of service

  4. apply for summary judgment or strike out

Where parties have followed a pre-action protocol or exchanged pre-action correspondence, the defendant has a chance to consider and prepare its response to the claim (see Practice Notes: The pre-action protocols and when they apply, Pre-action behaviour in non-protocol cases—Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols and Responding to a letter of claim—a practical guide). Otherwise, the arrival of a claim form can come as a surprise to the defendant and force it to consider a number of issues quickly.


Calculate the deadline for responding to the claim, including the date the defendant is deemed to have received the claim. The time for serving a defence can be extended by filing an acknowledgement of service.

See Practice Notes: Serving documents—excluding the claim form and defence and Timetable for statements of case.

If the defendant needs more time to serve a defence, the parties can agree an extension. The claimant should agree where the claim is complex or the defendant needs time to gather information.

Proper service

Establish whether the claim has been properly served.