A Pre-Action letter, also known as a ‘letter before action’, provide an opportunity for people and companies in dispute to correspond before resorting to court action and potentially avoid costly litigation.


Meta Panchamia
Meta Panchamia
Partner & Deputy Head of Civil & Commercial Litigation

The Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) is Changing on 1st October 2017

The exact Pre-Action Protocol used depends upon the type of claim, each type of claim is subject to a different Pre-Action protocol. 

What does the Change Mean in Practice for Debt Claims? 

Creditors are to be afforded greater protection when the new Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) for debt claims is.

Under the new protocol, which comes into force on 1st October 2017:

  • Debtors will have up to 30 days to respond to a pre-action letter (currently a debtor has between 7-14 days to respond to a letter before action).
  • Creditors must allow another 30 days after receiving the debtor’s response before commencing with any court application, significantly lengthening proceedings.
  • The time taken to issue court proceedings will be extended by up to five weeks.

Who do the new protocols apply to?

The new PAP will not apply to business-to-business debts unless the business is a sole trader.  Sole traders are to be treated as individuals meaning that they will also enjoy the generous provisions included in the new protocol.

The result is now it will be more important than ever for a business to know the legal status of the entity they are dealing with to ensure their credit terms are not open to abuse.

We Can Help

At MW Solicitors, our mission is "To Make Quality Legal Services Accessible To Everyone" including individuals and businesses trying to recover debts. Our team of specialist Debt Recovery and Insolvency Lawyers are experts in using the Pre-Action Letter Protocols to avoid expensive and unnecessary court actions.  

We can assist you with reviewing your credit terms so they are fit for purpose and pursuing debtors for you in line with the new protocol, writing the necessary Pre-Action letter on your behalf.  In the event the debt is not settled we can also apply to the court for enforcement of any debts owed to you or your business.  If you are a creditor pursuing a debtor talk to our team today, call us today on 020 3551 8500 or email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk

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