Debt claims and pre-action conduct

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

  • Debt claims and pre-action conduct
  • Debt Protocol or Practice Direction—when do they apply?
  • Letter of claim—pursuant to the Debt Protocol
  • Letter of claim—pursuant to the Practice Direction
  • Document preservation
  • Commencing proceedings
  • Timing of commencing proceedings under the Debt Protocol
  • Timing of commencing proceedings under the Practice Direction
  • Responding to a claim
  • Court specific guidance

Debt claims and pre-action conduct

This Practice Note provides guidance on the interpretation and application of the relevant provisions of the CPR. Depending on the court in which your matter is proceeding, you may also need to be mindful of additional provisions—see further below.

This Practice Note concerns simple contractual debt claims and discusses the pre-action steps that should be considered either under the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (the Debt Protocol) or under the Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols (the Practice Direction). In particular, it addresses how to draft the letter of claim and when proceedings can be commenced. It also specifies the information that a defendant should include in their response to the letter of claim.

For further guidance on debt claims, see the following:

  1. Practice Note: Starting a debt claim—a practical guide

  2. Practice Note: Debt claims

  3. Practice Note: Discharging a contractual debt

  4. Starting a contractual debt claim—checklist

For more general guidance on:

  1. starting claims, see: Starting a claim or counterclaim—overview

  2. responding to a claim, see Practice Note: Resolving a dispute—initial considerations

Debt Protocol or Practice Direction—when do they apply?

The Practice Direction sets out the conduct usually expected of parties prior to the issue of proceedings. It includes provisions that will apply in all cases, but is specifically stated to apply if none of the other more specific protocols are relevant to your claim. For details

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