The protocol is a code of good practice that must be followed by all parties prior to starting court action. The aim of the protocol is to try and allow the parties to resolve the dispute without court action, to ensure that all parties understand the issues in the dispute and to avoid unnecessary expenses.

The protocol outlines the steps that must be followed before taking court action;

  1. A letter (called the “Preliminary Notice”) must be sent to the professional to outline the grievance.
  2. As soon as it’s decided that there are grounds for a claim, a detailed Letter of Claim must be sent to the professional.
  3. The professional must respond to the Letter of Claim within 21 days of receipt. The professional will have 3 months to investigate and respond to the Letter of Claim by writing a Letter of Response and/or a Letter of Settlement.
  4. If the claim is denied then it is open to you to start court proceedings.

Court proceedings should always be a last resort.

If a party does not follow the protocol then the court may decide to impose sanctions.

If you need any advice regarding this or any other professional negligence matter, give us a call or fill in our online form and one of our experts will be in touch.