Filing the defence
Filing the defence

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

  • Filing the defence
  • CPR provisions
  • Requirement to file a defence
  • Consequence of failing to file a defence
  • Time period for filing a defence—claim form was served in the jurisdiction
  • Time period for filing a defence—claim form was served out of the jurisdiction
  • Agreement extending time for filing the defence
  • Application to extend time for filing the defence
  • How to file the defence—in person, by post or by e-mail
  • Form of the defence to be filed
  • more

This Practice Note sets out the considerations when seeking to file a defence.

For guidance on drafting a defence, see Practice Note: Drafting the defence.

For guidance on serving a defence, see Practice Note: Serving the defence.

CPR provisions

The provisions for filing a defence are set out in CPR 15, CPR 6.35 and CPR PD 6B.

Requirement to file a defence

When dealing with a Part 8 claim there is no requirement for a defendant to file a defence. As a consequence, the provisions in CPR 15 do not apply (CPR 15.1). For detailed information on such claims, see Practice Note: CPR Part 8 claims (alternative procedure for claims).

When dealing with a Part 7 claim, where a defendant wishes to defend all or part of the claim, the defendant must file a defence (CPR 15.2).

A defence is not required in the following cases:

  1. where a defendant admits the claim. This should be done in the acknowledgment of service form. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Acknowledgment of service

  2. where a defendant challenges the court's jurisdiction, a defence does not need to be filed before the jurisdiction hearing. For guidance, see Practice Notes: Challenging court jurisdiction—general principles, Challenging court jurisdiction—application under CPR 11 (general considerations) and CPR 11

  3. the claimant applies for summary judgment before the time for filing a defence