TOLATA 1996—pre-action matters
TOLATA 1996—pre-action matters

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

  • TOLATA 1996—pre-action matters
  • Pre-action protocol
  • Proportionality
  • Exchange of information
  • Expert evidence
  • Settlement and non-court dispute resolution
  • Consequences of non-compliance
  • Limitation

Pre-action protocol

There is no specific pre-action protocol relating to claims under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA 1996). Hence, the parties should have regard to Practice Direction—Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols (previously Practice Direction—Pre-Action Conduct. The current practice direction came into force on 6 April 2015, bringing with it a shorter and more succinct set of rules for the parties to follow before commencing proceedings and has been updated periodically. It is contained within the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR), SI 1998/3132 and sets out the conduct expected of parties prior to the issue of proceedings.

Except in the most urgent cases, before commencing court proceedings and regardless of whether the claim is ultimately brought under CPR Part 7 or CPR Part 8, the court will normally expect parties to exchange sufficient information in order to:

  1. understand each other's position

  2. decide how to proceed

  3. try to settle the issues without proceedings

  4. consider a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

  5. support the efficient management of any proceedings, and

  6. reduce the costs of resolving the dispute


The importance of proportionality is highlighted, in particular that the Practice Direction—Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols are not to be used tactically to secure an unfair advantage over another party and that disproportionate costs incurred in complying with the protocols or practice direction will not be recoverable.

Exchange of information


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