The Scottish Personal Injury Pre-Action Protocol
Produced in partnership with Sarah Phillips of Anderson Strathern
The Scottish Personal Injury Pre-Action Protocol

The following PI & Clinical Negligence practice note produced in partnership with Sarah Phillips of Anderson Strathern provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Scottish Personal Injury Pre-Action Protocol
  • Background
  • The Compulsory Pre-Action Protocol
  • Aim
  • Scope
  • Stages
  • Commencement of court proceedings
  • Failure to comply with the protocol
  • The impact of the introduction of the protocol
  • Conclusion


In 1995, Lord Woolf at the outset of his review into the civil justice system of England and Wales identified that the key problems were cost, delay and complexity. With the demand on the modern justice system increasing, the current rules and procedures were unsustainable and inefficient. Following his review, Lord Woolf made a number of recommendations in his final report and in light of this the civil justice system was significantly reformed. One such reform involved the introduction of compulsory pre-action protocols for various types of actions, including personal injury actions.

Pre-action protocols are a set of rules which focus on the conduct of parties in the pre-litigation stage. The main aim of such protocols is to encourage the full and early exchange of documentation or information relating to a prospective claim in the hope that pre-litigation settlements will be reached. They were introduced with the intention of removing the need for litigation where possible or, at the very least, to narrow the issues in dispute.

The Law Society of Scotland introduced a pre-action protocol for personal injury actions in Scotland in 2005. However, as this protocol had no statutory basis it was not mandatory. It was limited to claims up to £10,000 (albeit higher value claims could be dealt with under it upon agreement) and, being voluntary, was often disregarded by one or both

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