A 'letter before claim' must be sent to the party you are considering taking action against.
This letter must comply with the Pre-Action Protocol which, among other things, must include the following:
- A summary of the facts
- What you want from the party you're claiming from
- How you've calculated the sum you want to claim
- A list of the key documents that you'll use to support your case
- A list of any documents you want from the other party
- A reasonable deadline for a response (usually 28 days)
Reference: [a single sentence summing up your claim]
As it has not been possible to resolve this matter amicably, and it is apparent that court action may be necessary, I write in compliance with the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct.
[Provide a summary of the facts of the dispute]
From you I am claiming [state what you want from the party you're claiming from]
I have calculated this sum [state how you have calculated the amount being claimed]
Listed below are the documents on which I intend to rely in my claim against you:
[List the key documents that you will need to use to prove your claim]
In accordance with the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct I would request that you provide me with copies of the following documents:
[List any documents you want from the party you are claiming from]
I can confirm that I would be agreeable to mediation and would consider any other system of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in order to avoid the need for this matter to be resolved by the courts.
I would invite you to put forward any proposals in this regard.
[Alternatively you can set out details of any ADR scheme that you would be prepared to use]
In closing, I would draw your attention to section II (4) of the Practice Direction which gives the courts the power to impose sanctions on the parties if they fail to comply with the direction including failing to respond to this letter before claim.
I look forward to hearing from you within the next 28 days.
Should I not receive a response to my letter within this time frame, then I anticipate that court action will be commenced with no further reference to you.