A Pre-action Protocol sets out what must be done, in relation to a claim to which it applies, before court proceedings are issued.
There are Pre-action Protocols for the following types of claim:
- Clinical Disputes
- Personal Injury Claims
- Construction and Engineering Disputes
- Professional Negligence
- Judicial Review
- Disease and Illness
- Housing Disrepair
- Possession of property (rent arrears)
- Possession of residential property (mortgage arrears)
- Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents
Failure to comply with a Pre-action Protocol will be taken into account in any court proceedings which follow. The defaulting party may be ordered to pay additional costs resulting from his failure. If he is awarded costs by the court, the amount may be reduced on account of his failure. Other sanctions may be applied.
The Practice Direction on pre-action conduct says more about what is expected (even where no Pre-action Protocol applies) and about the sanctions that may be applied as a result of failure to comply.