Claims on behalf of children—an introduction
Produced in partnership with William Dean of 9 Gough Square
Claims on behalf of children—an introduction

The following PI & Clinical Negligence guidance note Produced in partnership with William Dean of 9 Gough Square provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Claims on behalf of children—an introduction
  • Litigation friends
  • Pleadings and titles of proceedings
  • Approval of settlements
  • Occupiers’ Liability
  • Liability for the children of other people
  • Playground accidents
  • Sporting accidents
  • Other organised activities
  • Contributory negligence
  • more

A child is any person under the age of 18.

Litigation friends

In civil proceedings, a child must have a litigation friend to conduct the proceedings on their behalf (unless the court directs otherwise), pursuant to CPR 21.2. Often the child’s parent will act as a litigation friend, although there is no barrier to another adult acting instead. The requirements are set out in CPR 21.4: the proposed person can fairly and competently conduct proceedings on behalf of the child; they have no interest adverse to that of the child; and (where the child is the claimant) they undertake to pay any costs the child may be ordered to pay.

The person wishing to act as the litigation friend, in the absence of a court order, must file a certificate of suitability in Practice Form N235 at the time of the claim:

  1. stating that they consent to act

  2. stating that they know or believe that the claimant is a child

  3. stating that they can fairly and competently conduct proceedings on behalf of the child and have no interest adverse to those of the child

  4. undertaking to pay any costs that the child may be ordered to pay in relation to the proceedings subject to any right they may have to be repaid from the child's assets

  5. that is verified by