Overview of the Civil Litigation Process


The litigation process is a minefield. However, we at Legal Peace can help you through it and understand it. Please note that this is a simplified explanation and that the actual process may vary depending on the specifics of the case and the court involved. Here are the main stages:

bullet-point-arrow.pngPre-action stage:
Investigation and gathering of evidence amd attempting negotiation or alternative dispute resolution methods
bullet-point-arrow.pngIssuing the claim:
Drafting and filing a claim form at the appropriate court, paying the necessary court fees, and serving the claim form on the defendant(s).
bullet-point-arrow.pngDefendant's response:
The defendant has a limited time to acknowledge receipt of the claim form. The defendant may file a defence within a specified period, outlining their response to the claim.
bullet-point-arrow.pngCase management:
The court may hold case management conferences to determine the scope and timelines of the case. The court may give directions for the disclosure of documents, exchange of evidence, and witness statements.
bullet-point-arrow.pngDisclosure and exchange of evidence:
Parties are required to disclose relevant documents and information. Both parties exchange evidence and witness statements.
bullet-point-arrow.pngPre-trial preparation:
 Parties may be required to attend pre-trial hearings, such as hearings to resolve procedural matters or applications.
bullet-point-arrow.pngSettlement negotiation:
 Parties may engage in settlement discussions or mediation to resolve the dispute before trial.
If the case proceeds to trial, both parties present their case, including evidence and witness testimony, before a judge. The judge evaluates the evidence and makes a decision (i.e. the Judgment).
The judge issues a judgment, either immediately after the trial or at a later date, outlining the court's decision and any remedies or damages awarded.
bullet-point-arrow.pngEnforcement or appeal:
If the judgment favors the claimant, they may need to take steps to enforce the judgment and recover the awarded amount. Either party may have the right to appeal the judgment to a higher court, depending on the circumstances and grounds for appeal.
It's important to note that civil litigation can be complex and time-consuming. Parties involved should seek legal advice from solicitors or barristers who specialise in civil litigation to navigate the process effectively. 
For more information, please visit the government's website which outlines the Civil Procedure Rules. https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules