Starting a debt claim—a practical guide
Produced in partnership with Leigh Callaway of Fladgate LLP
Starting a debt claim—a practical guide

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note Produced in partnership with Leigh Callaway of Fladgate LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Starting a debt claim—a practical guide
  • Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims (the Protocol)—when does it apply?
  • Debt claim—initial steps
  • Litigation—initial steps
  • Letter of claim—pursuant to the Protocol
  • Letter of claim—pursuant to the Practice Direction
  • Other considerations
  • Commencing proceedings
  • Responding to a claim
  • Court specific guidance

This Practice Note provides guidance on the interpretation and application of the relevant provisions of the CPR. Depending on the court in which your matter is proceeding, you may also need to be mindful of additional provisions—see further below.

In particular, this Practice Note considers how to pursue a simple contractual debt claim. It applies to all simple contractual debt claims, but for claims brought by a business (including a sole trader or public body) against an individual (including a sole trader) the parties will also need to comply with the Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims. In this Practice Note, the potential claimant is referred to as the ‘creditor’ and the potential defendant is referred to as the ‘debtor’.

For more general guidance on starting claims, see: Starting a claim—overview.

Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims (the Protocol)—when does it apply?

The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) contain a number of pre-action protocols which are to be adhered to by the intended parties to a dispute prior to commencing proceedings. They are intended to assist parties in understanding the case they are presenting/having to meet, such that the parties can seek to resolve the dispute prior to commencing proceedings or, if this is not possible, to clarify the issues prior to commencing proceedings. There are a number of specific pre-action protocols dealing with particular