Resolving a dispute—initial considerations
Resolving a dispute—initial considerations

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

  • Resolving a dispute—initial considerations
  • Pre-action protocols and Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols
  • Limitation
  • Emergency procedures
  • Identify the defendant
  • Check the defendant's means
  • Is there a dispute resolution clause?
  • ADR
  • Funding arrangements
  • Making a pre-action Part 36/settlement offer
  • More...

Pre-action protocols and Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols

Once you have a dispute to resolve (as opposed to an abstract question of law—see: Ainsbury v Millington, as referred to in para [3] of Tapster v Nursing And Midwifery Council), the way you should manage your case pre-action will be governed by the Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols and/or one of the specific pre-action protocols which apply to particular types of dispute. For more information on these, see Practice Notes:

  1. The pre-action protocols and when they apply

  2. Pre-action behaviour in non-protocol cases—Practice Direction Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols

In particular, such pre-action provisions encourage parties to exchange information and establish the extent to which it might be possible to settle the dispute without the issue of proceedings. Unless you have good cause, your client will be criticised in the event that you fail to engage with the other side and issue proceedings without having complied with your client’s pre-action obligations. For further information on the consequences of non-compliance, see Practice Note: Non-compliance with pre-action provisions.

There are also various other matters to consider which may dictate whether or not you litigate and, if so, how you conduct the litigation. These matters are considered below.


Consider the limitation period applicable to your claim (the statutory period within which a claim must be brought) and decide the date on which

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