Non-compliance with pre-action provisions
Non-compliance with pre-action provisions

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

  • Non-compliance with pre-action provisions
  • Compliance with pre-action protocols
  • Sanctions
  • Practice points
  • Pre-action behaviour and ADR
  • Committal for contempt
  • Archived content

This Practice Note considers when non-compliance with a pre-action protocol or the Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols may result in a party being sanctioned and what those sanctions might be. It also deals with the court’s attitude to the parties’ pre-action behaviour and any refusal to take part in ADR.

Compliance with pre-action protocols

The Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct and 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. If your claim falls within one of the specific protocols you should also consider any provisions on compliance within that specific protocol.

The court will take into account non-compliance with a relevant pre-action protocol or the Practice Direction when giving directions for the management of proceedings and when making orders for costs. The court will consider whether the parties have complied in substance with the terms of the relevant pre-action protocol or the Practice Direction and is not likely to be concerned with minor or technical infringements, especially when the matter is urgent (for example an application for