Introduction » Stage 1 » Stage 2

STAGE 2 - pre-action letter and attempt to settle before proceedings start in court

A pre-action letter to the proposed defendant giving details of your complaint and the remedies you want is essential (and a "protocol" requirement) before starting a claim in court.  It is important that this is carefully drafted so as to give sufficient detail to enable the defendant to see what your complaint is and why the remedy sought should be given. 

Rules of court, the so called "pre-action protocol", also require parties to try and settle matters if possible rather than jumping headlong into litigation - that is where our experience and skills of negotiation can, and often do, make a difference. 

We can do the following for you:

  • write a "pre-action protocol" letter to the putative defendant setting out the libel caused and remedies wanted.
  • invite the (normally on a 'without-prejudice" basis) defendant to discussions or talks, or even formal mediation, to attempt to settle the dispute.
  • respond to any further correspondence from the defendant.
  • attend and represent you at any settlement talks or discussions.
  • draw up any settlement terms including the wording of any apology.
  • ensure that any follow-up terms (eg. publication of the apology) are carried out.

At all times our commitment to you will be to achieve the best possible outcome for you so as to achieve prompt and proper vindication of your reputation.

Our work for this stage (ie the "pre-action letter" stage) can be funded by a fixed fee or occasionally a "no win no fee" arrangment.   If settlement is in your favour then normally, as part of any settlement, the defendant pays your legal fees.  So essentially the opposing defendant will end up paying our fee.

If the case does not settle then careful consideration needs to be given to the issue of formal court proceedings which would take the case to Stage 3.


There are 3 stages to the work we can do for you, please see below:



Stage 1

Initial Assessment

Stage 2

Negotiated settlement attempt BEFORE issue of court proceedings

Stage 3

Litigation AFTER court proceedings issued