Serving the defence
Serving the defence

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

  • Serving the defence
  • Requirement to serve a defence (CPR 15.6)
  • Time period for serving the defence
  • Agreement extending the period for serving the defence
  • Court application to extend time for serving the defence
  • Failure to serve a defence
  • Methods of service for the defence (CPR 6.20)
  • Serving a defence on a company/limited liability partnership
  • Who serves the defence? (CPR 6.21)
  • Personal service of the defence (CPR 6.22)
  • more

Brexit: The UK's departure from the EU on exit day ie Friday 31 January 2020 has implications for practitioners considering service. For guidance, see Cross border considerations—checklist—Service—Brexit specific.

This Practice Note considers service of the defence. For guidance on service of the claim form in the jurisdiction, see Practice Note: Service of the claim form in the jurisdiction or EEA.

For information on filing a defence, see Practice Note: Filing the defence.

Requirement to serve a defence (CPR 15.6)

A defendant who wishes to defend all or part of a claim must file a defence with the court (CPR 15.2). CPR 16 sets out what the defence must contain.

Where a defence is filed with the court, a copy of the defence must be served on every other party to the proceedings. This includes not only the claimant(s), but any other defendants in the proceedings (CPR 15.6).

When serving a defence, it will need to be served in compliance with the service provisions in the CPR as follows:

  1. service in the jurisdiction—section III of Part 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR 6.20–6.29). These rules are supplemented by provisions in CPR PD 6A

  2. service outside the jurisdiction—section IV of Part 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR 6.30). These rules are supplemented by provisions in CPR PD 6B

It should be noted that the