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Letter Before Action

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Great interaction. I had a simple question which would have cost a fortune going to see a local solicitor. It was all very professional but still friendly. The solicitor I spoke to was the chief executive of her law firm (I looked her up on LinkedIn). You are dealing with very good lawyers who earn additional money through Lawhive. I would definitely use this service again. Highly recommend.
Mark,
29 December, 23
The solicitor who was appointed to me was outstanding
Very simple to engage with instant confirmation in writing straight after. Daniel, the solicitor who was appointed to me, was outstanding in his approach, his understanding of the technicalities of the law and, crucially, a genuine care for the client. Would definitely advise using Lawhive, you won't regret it.
Tahir Idris,
04 October, 23
We were so pleased to find the Lawhive website
After struggling to find a solicitor willing to give us advice, and for a reasonable cost, we were so pleased to find the Lawhive website. At first we wondered how well it would work, but needn't have worried at all - the whole process was simple, straightforward and professional and great value for money. We felt extremely lucky to be matched with our solicitor, Sonay Erten, as she was exactly what we were looking for - knowledgeable, patient and kind - a refreshing change from solicitors we have used in the past. She showed a great deal of empathy for our situation and explained things in language that was easy to understand (rather than the usual "solicitor" talk, which can be intimidating). She's a shining example of what a solicitor should aspire to be and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others or use her again in the future. We came out of our session reassured and confident of what we needed to do going forward, so a big "thank you!"
Julie Taylor,
01 June, 23
Fast and professional
I got the outcome I wanted regarding cease and desist to a competitor spreading defamatory statements about my business. Fast and professional, and at a much lower price than high street firms. Highly recommended thanks.
Jason Hunter,
23 July, 23
Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
I found the website very easy to use. Quick responses and I was even able to talk to someone who was friendly and competent. She rang me rather than emailed me. A solicitor was quickly found who could help me and once the relevant identification was approved he started work. Within two days the solicitor had checked documents and commented on them. Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
Pauline Piper,
15 February, 23
The service was fast and ultra professional
Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
Jamie Crichton,
09 November, 23
Great service and very reasonably priced,
Great service and very reasonably priced, Kem was really helpful and professional. Would use again
Sarah Shanks,
21 November, 23
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About

A Letter Before Action is a formal letter sent by a solicitor to a debtor before legal action is taken. For example, a letter before action sent to a debtor would warn them that legal action will be taken if the debt is not repaid.Next steps

How much does a Letter Before Action cost?

The cost for a licensed solicitor to help with a Letter Before Action is dependent on many factors including the complexity and specific requirements of the case. On average it is expected to range from £89-£129 but in some cases it could cost as much as £199.

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Letter Before Action

When conflicts arise, whether it's a business disagreement, unpaid debts, or personal disputes, a letter before action is an important step in the legal process, serving as a formal demand for resolution before starting court proceedings.

A well-drafted letter before action can often bring about a quick resolution, saving you time, money, and stress.

At Lawhive, we believe in making high-quality legal services accessible to everyone for affordable fixed fees, all delivered through our innovative online platform.

Our network of litigation solicitors specialise in drafting and delivering effective letters before action, ensuring your demands are clear, concise, and legally sound.

From initial consultation to drafting your letter before action to advising on the next steps, we provide comprehensive support tailored to your specific needs.

Contact us today to speak to our Legal Assessment Team about drafting your letter before action and get a transparent, fixed-fee quote for the services of a specialist lawyer.

What is a letter before action?

A letter before action (sometimes referred to as a letter before claim) is a formal letter sent by one party to another, outlining a legal claim and demanding a resolution before initiating court proceedings.

It serves as a final warning and an opportunity for the recipient to address the issue without the need for litigation.

What is the purpose of a letter before action?

A letter before action acts as a final request for the recipient to resolve the matter before legal action is taken. It is often a required step of pre-action protocols before starting court proceedings, particularly in civil cases. It shows that the sender has attempted to resolve the issue amicably before going to court.

A letter before action clearly outlines the claim, grounds for the claim, and actions the recipient must take to avoid court proceedings.

It also gives both sides an understanding of the other’s position and lets them know where they stand.

What should be included in a letter before action?

An effective letter before action should include:

  • Full names and contact information of the claimant and defendant.

  • A clear and concise summary of the dispute.

  • Explanation of the legal grounds on which the claim is based.

  • Specific actions the recipient must take to resolve the matter, such as payment of a debt, ceasing of certain behaviour, or fulfillment of a contract.

  • A deadline for response (usually 14 to 28 days).

  • Consequences of non-compliance.

What are the benefits of sending a letter before action?

A letter before action can often be enough to prompt the recipient to settle a dispute without going to court, saving time and legal costs.

Even if it doesn't bring about a resolution, it also provides a formal record of the attempt to resolve the issues amicably, which can be important evidence if the matter goes to court.

While a letter before action is not always a strict legal requirement, it is generally considered a necessary step under the Civil Procedure Rules and Pre-Action Protocols in England and Wales.

Sending a letter before action encourages settlement, demonstrates the seriousness of the claim, and meets the court’s expectations for reasonable conduct before litigation.

Failing to send a letter before action can result in court penalties and a weaker case position. However, exceptions do exist for urgent situations or cases where sending a letter before action would be futile.

What happens if the recipient ignores a letter before action?

If the recipient ignores a letter before action and does not respond within the specified time frame, you can file a claim with the appropriate court.

The court will then issue a claim form, which you will need to serve on the recipient. This formally notifies them of the legal action and provides details of the claim.

If the recipient still does not respond after being served with the court papers, you can apply for a default judgement. This means the court can decide in your favour without a trial, based on the evidence provided in your claim.

Once you get a default judgement, you can take steps to enforce it, such as using bailiffs to recover a debt or seizing assets.

At Lawhive, our experienced solicitors can guide you through the process of filing a claim and pursuing legal action if your letter before action is ignored. Contact us today for expert assistance.

Can a letter before action be used for any type of dispute?

A letter before action can be used for a wide range of disputes including:

  • Demanding payment for unpaid invoices or outstanding debts from clients or customers.

  • Recover personal loans or money lent to friends or family.

  • Demand compliance or compensation if a party has breached the terms of a contract.

  • Address disputes over the quality or completion of services rendered.

  • Address issues such as unpaid rent, property damage, or breaches of a tenancy agreement in landlord and tenant disputes.

  • Resolve neighbour disputes over property boundaries or encroachments.

  • Demand payment of unpaid wages or bonuses in an employment dispute.

  • Demand refunds, repairs, or replacements for faulty goods.

  • Address any breach of consumer rights, such as misleading advertisements or failure to deliver goods.

  • Seek compensation for personal injuries sustained in accidents or due to medical negligence.

  • Demand retraction, apology and compensation for libel and slander.

  • Address unauthorised use of intellectual property or misuse of trademarks.

Can I draft my own letter before action?

You don't need a solicitor to write a letter before action for you. However, while drafting the letter yourself may seem straightforward, there are some potential pitfalls to be aware of.

For example, you might not accurately reference the correct laws or legal principles that support your claim, weakening your position. Or, the recipient might not understand what is required to resolve the issue, leading to further confusion and delay.

A professionally drafted letter before action is more likely to be taken seriously and treated with the respect it deserves.

Your solicitor can ensure that your letter before action is based on the correct legal principles and clearly articulates your demands, leaving no room for ambiguity or misinterpretation.

Your solicitor can also ensure that your letter before action follows the relevant pre-action protocols, reducing the risk of court penalties.

At Lawhive, our experienced solicitors can help you draft a robust and compelling letter before action, increasing the likelihood of a favourable resolution. Contact us today for expert assistance.

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Can a letter before action lead to an out-of-court settlement?

Letters before action often lead to out-of-court settlements.

One of the primary purposes of this kind of letter is to encourage the resolution of disputes without the need for court proceedings.

Can I send a letter before action via email?

Some protocols only allow a letter before action to be posted, including debt recovery claims. However, others don’t specify a preferred form of communication.

Therefore, you may be able to send a letter before action via email, however, there are some important considerations to keep in mind to ensure that the email is legally effective and taken seriously by the recipient.

When sending a letter before action via email you should:

  • Use an email service that provides delivery and read receipts.

  • Consider sending a follow-up email or making a phone call to confirm receipt.

  • Use a professional email address rather than a personal one.

  • Attach the letter before action as a PDF to the email and include a brief message in the email body that the attached document is a letter before action and should be read urgently.

  • Use a clear and specific subject line, such as Letter Before Action - Urgent.

  • Ensure you send the email to the correct email address.

Because emails can get lost in an overflowing inbox, or simply not be delivered, it is always worth posting a paper letter before action if possible so you can be sure it has been received.

What should I do if the recipient disputes the claim in their response?

If the recipient of your letter before action disputes the claim in their response, your solicitor can help assess the validity of their arguments and suggest potential counterarguments or additional evidence that may be needed.

Depending on the response and your solicitor's advice, you may choose to consider settlement options or suggest mediation as a way to open up negotiations.

Alternatively, you may decide to prepare for potential litigation by taking the next step as outlined in the pre-action protocols relating your your dispute.

What are the alternatives to sending a letter before action?

A letter before action is a common and effective tool for resolving disputes before litigation. However, if you are considering alternatives to litigation, you might consider other forms of dispute resolution such as:

  • Informal negotiation

  • Mediation

  • Arbitration

  • Conciliation

  • Using a collection agency (if the dispute involves unpaid debts)

  • Ombudsman services

  • Following internal complaints procedures.

You may also consider a demand letter, which is less formal than a letter before action but still outlines your issue and demands a resolution.

Each alternative has its advantages and can be appropriate depending on the nature of the dispute, the relationship with the other party, and the desired outcome.

At Lawhive, our experienced solicitors can help you choose the best approach for resolving your dispute and provide the necessary support and guidance throughout the process. Contact us today for expert assistance.

Can a letter before action be used in small claims court?

Yes, you need to send a letter before claim before starting a small claim.

It serves as a final warning letter before you take legal action against someone in court.

A well-drafted letter before action can be an effective way of settling a dispute before litigation.

At Lawhive, our network of litigation solicitors is on hand to provide expert help, advice, and guidance in drafting a letter before claim. Alternatively, they can draft the letter for you if you wish for an affordable fixed fee.

Contact us today to learn more about letters before claim and get a fixed-fee transparent quote for the services of a specialist solicitor.

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