Drafting the defence—drafting tips
Produced in partnership with Ian Seymour and Jenny Raymond of Harrison Clark Rickerbys
Drafting the defence—drafting tips

The following Dispute Resolution practice note produced in partnership with Ian Seymour and Jenny Raymond of Harrison Clark Rickerbys provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Drafting the defence—drafting tips
  • General drafting tips
  • Interest
  • Is the claim one brought as foreign currency?
  • Is there a need to obtain further information?
  • Are there any deficiencies in the pleaded claim(s) which can appropriately/reasonably be attacked?
  • Strike out
  • Summary judgment
  • Interrelationship between strike out and summary judgment
  • Are there any specific defences that may be available?
  • More...

This Practice Note provides practical tips on drafting a defence to a claim. Guidance is given on attacking any deficiencies in the particulars of claim and including specific defences such as limitation, contributory negligence, illegality and lack of mitigation.

For guidance on the formal requirements for defences under the CPR, see Practice Note: Drafting the defence—formalities.

For a generic template for drafting a defence, see Precedents:

  1. Defence (civil claim generic)

  2. Defence and counterclaim (civil claim generic)

For a worked hypothetical example showing how to set out the defence (and preceding and subsequent statements of case) in a debt claim scenario, see Practice Note: Pleading debt claims—worked hypothetical examples.

General drafting tips

It is helpful to deal with the issues listed in the defence in the same order they appear in the particulars of claim. This reduces the likelihood of issues being forgotten.

Ensure each allegation listed in the particulars of claim is either admitted, denied, or state that the defendant is unable to admit or deny the allegation and requires the claimant to prove it (CPR 16.5(1)). Crucially, any allegation that is not dealt with is taken to be admitted by the defendant (CPR 16.5(5)). Also note the comments in para [67] of Ferand Business Corporation v Maritime Investments Holdings that a defendant who had stated that ‘paragraph [x] is noted’ in relation to that paragraph in the particulars of

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