Q&As

How much time should a company give an individual to respond to its letter of claim before it can issue proceedings? Is this time extended as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

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Published on LexisPSL on 15/09/2020

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How much time should a company give an individual to respond to its letter of claim before it can issue proceedings? Is this time extended as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

How much time should a company give an individual to respond to its letter of claim before it can issue proceedings? Is this time extended as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

It is assumed that the Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols (the Practice Direction) applies to the claim in question, rather than any of the specific pre-action protocols.

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 of all the pre-action protocols, see Practice Note: The pre-action protocols and when they apply.

As set out in paragraph 6 of the Practice Direction, the claimant should usually write to the defendant before commencing proceedings to set out the details of their claim, including:

  1. the basis on which the claim is made

  2. a summary of the facts

  3. what the claimant wants from the defendant and, if money, how the amount is calculated

The letter should also set out a time limit within which the defendant should respond. The Practice Direction states that the defendant should respond within a 'reasonable time' and suggests that this will be 14 days in a very

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