Pleading set-off
Pleading set-off

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

  • Pleading set-off
  • Set-off—CPR 16.6
  • Pleading a set-off
  • Pleading the facts to support a set-off
  • Responding to a set-off
  • Striking out a set-off
  • Set-off distinguished from counterclaim
  • Set-off distinguished from payment
  • Set-off and limitation
  • Set-off and jurisdictional issues
  • More...

As seen in the Practice Notes: What is set-off and when is it available? and Types of set-off there are different recognised 'types' of set-off, arising in different ways.

With the exception of independent (legal) set-off (see Practice Note: Independent set-off and transaction set-off) a set-off may be asserted and acted upon, such as Y withholding money it recognises it owes to X on the basis Y is off-setting monies X owes Y, without the need for court proceedings to have been initiated. By contrast, independent set-off requires the commencement of court proceedings and effectively operates at the time of judgment.

In reality, when it comes to court proceedings, however, both independent or equitable set-off (also commonly known as transaction set-off) are often pleaded with the defence. In this sense the term 'cross-claim' is often used:

  1. X sues Y

  2. Y asserts a defence of independent set-off or equitable set-off

  3. the existence of Y's cross-claim is either a complete defence to X's claim or will reduce the amount of X's judgment against Y on that claim

In terms of procedure, CPR 16.6 permits a defendant to include in their defence and/or as a Part 20 claim, by way of set-off, a claim for money (whether for specific amounts or unspecified amounts).

CPR 16.6 is not concerned with the basis on which that set-off is founded, which may be either

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