Professional negligence claims—the pre-action protocol
Produced in partnership with Steven O'Sullivan

The following Dispute Resolution practice note produced in partnership with Steven O'Sullivan provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Professional negligence claims—the pre-action protocol
  • Scope of this Practice Note
  • When does the professional negligence PAP apply?
  • Correct use of the professional negligence PAP and letter of claim
  • What is a professional negligence claim?
  • Aims of the professional negligence PAP
  • Breaching the professional negligence PAP
  • Limitation and the professional negligence PAP
  • Shorter trials scheme and the professional negligence PAP
  • Stages of the professional negligence PAP
  • More...

Professional negligence claims—the pre-action protocol

This Practice Note sets out the position according to the Pre-Action Protocol for Professional Negligence claims now in force.

Scope of this Practice Note

This Practice Note considers the Pre-Action Protocol for Professional Negligence claims (the Protocol), its application, aims, the general consequences of non-compliance and the relationship between limitation and Protocol compliance. It identifies the key stages required by the Protocol, ie, the preliminary notice, letter of claim, acknowledgement, letter of response and the subsequent commencement of proceedings. It also looks at the exchange of information between the parties, experts, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and the stocktake provision in the Protocol.

For specific guidance on the Protocol from the perspective of a prospective party to such a claim, see:

  1. Practice Note: Professional negligence claims—pre-action protocol—claimant issues

  2. Checklist: Professional negligence claims—claimant steps—checklist

  3. Practice Note: Professional negligence claims—pre-action protocol—defendant

  4. Checklist: Professional negligence claims—defendant steps—checklist

Throughout this Practice Note the Pre-Action Protocol for Professional Negligence claims is referred to interchangeably as ‘the Protocol’ or the ‘professional negligence PAP’.

When does the professional negligence PAP apply?

The Protocol is relevant when bringing/defending claims for negligence or other breach of duty/contract against a professional; its scope being set out at paragraph 1.

Note: it specifically excludes from its ambit the following claims:

  1. medical negligence claims in respect of which the Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Clinical Disputes applies (on which,

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