What is a limitation date?
A limitation period is the period of time within which a party to a contract or a party who has suffered damages as a result of another party’s conduct, must bring a claim.
The Limitation Act 1980 sets out the applicable time limits depending on the type of claim being made. It is important to be aware of these time limits if you are bringing or defending a claim.
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What happens if I miss my limitation date?
One of the first questions which must be asked when considering the route of litigation which can be time consuming and costly, is whether the claim is time-barred.
If the limitation period has expired then the claim will be irreversibly time-barred unless an exception under section 14 Limitation Act or section 32 Limitation Act applies.
The time bar may apply even where your case has strong merits based on the facts.
Where the limitation has expired, the Defendant has a complete defence to the claim. It is for the Defendant to plead limitation as a defence and the burden will then be on the Claimant to prove that time has not expired.
Time limits for different types of claims
Contract Limitation Date
6 years from the date the cause of action accrued (section 5 of the Limitation Act 1980).
In English law, the limitation period for contract claims is governed by section 5 of the Limitation Act 1980. This section sets the time limit for bringing an action on a contract. According to the statute, a contract claim must be initiated within 6 years from the date the cause of action accrued.
The “cause of action” in contract cases typically arises from a breach of contract, i.e., when one party fails to fulfill their contractual obligations. For example, if Party A enters into a contract with Party B to provide goods by a specific date and Party B fails to deliver the goods as agreed, the cause of action for Party A to claim breach of contract starts on the date Party B should have fulfilled their obligations.
It is crucial for claimants to be aware of the contract limitation date and take prompt action to protect their rights. Failing to bring a contract claim within the prescribed time frame may result in the claim being time-barred, meaning the court will not hear the case due to the statute of limitations. In such instances, the claimant loses the right to seek legal remedies for the breach of contract.
To avoid potential issues with limitation periods, claimants should seek legal advice and initiate their contract claims within the 6-year time limit from the date the cause of action accrued. Conversely, defendants in contract cases can use the limitation period as a defense if the claimant has exceeded the allowed time frame for bringing the claim. As such, understanding the contract limitation date is essential for both claimants and defendants in contract disputes.
Tort Limitation Date
6 years from the date the cause of action accrued and/or the loss was suffered (section 2 of the Limitation Act 1980)
In English law, the limitation period for tort claims is regulated by section 2 of the Limitation Act 1980. This section establishes the time limit within which a claimant must bring an action in tort.
The key feature of the tort limitation date is that it is based on two possible starting points: the date the cause of action accrued and/or the date the loss was suffered. This means that the claimant has a total of 6 years from either of these events to initiate the tort claim.
The “cause of action” in tort refers to the specific event or circumstances that give rise to the claim. For example, in a personal injury case, the cause of action may be the date of the accident or the date when the claimant became aware of the injury. On the other hand, the “loss suffered” refers to the date when the claimant incurred damage or loss as a result of the tortious act. For instance, in a negligence claim, the loss suffered may be the date when the claimant discovered property damage caused by the defendant’s negligence.
The dual nature of the tort limitation date provides flexibility for claimants, allowing them to choose the starting point that is more favorable to their case. However, it is essential for claimants to be diligent in pursuing their tort claims and ensuring they fall within the 6-year time frame. Delaying the initiation of a claim can result in the claim becoming time-barred, and the court may refuse to hear the case due to the expiration of the limitation period.
Defendants in tort cases can also rely on the limitation period as a defense if the claimant fails to bring the claim within the specified time limit. Therefore, understanding the tort limitation date and taking timely legal action is vital for both claimants and defendants involved in tort-related disputes. Seeking legal advice at the earliest opportunity can help ensure that the claim is initiated within the appropriate time frame and increase the chances of a successful resolution.
Professional Negligence Limitation Date
If based on contract, 6 years from the date of the breach of contract (section 5 of the Limitation Act 1980)
If based on the common law tort of negligence, 6 years from the date the Claimant suffered a financial loss as a result of a negligent professional (section 2 of the Limitation Act 1980)
Professional negligence claims in English law can arise from either a breach of contract or the common law tort of negligence. The limitation period for professional negligence claims varies depending on the nature of the claim.
- Professional Negligence Claim based on Contract:
If the professional negligence claim is based on a breach of contract, the limitation period is set by section 5 of the Limitation Act 1980. According to this section, the claimant has 6 years from the date of the breach of contract to initiate the claim.
For example, if a client enters into a contract with a solicitor to provide legal services and the solicitor fails to meet the agreed-upon and reasonable standard of care, resulting in financial loss for the client, the cause of action for professional negligence in this case starts from the date of the breach of the contract.
- Professional Negligence Claim based on Common Law Tort of Negligence:
Alternatively, if the professional negligence claim is based on the common law tort of negligence, the limitation period is governed by section 2 of the Limitation Act 1980. In this scenario, the claimant has 6 years from the date they suffered a financial loss as a result of the negligent professional’s actions to bring the claim.
For instance, if a surveyor negligently evaluates a property’s condition, causing the client financial loss due to undisclosed defects, the claimant’s cause of action for professional negligence starts from the date they incurred the financial loss resulting from the surveyor’s negligence.
It is crucial for claimants in professional negligence cases to be aware of these distinct limitation periods and take timely legal action. Failing to bring a professional negligence claim within the prescribed time frame may lead to the claim being time-barred, and the court may refuse to hear the case. As with other types of claims, defendants can also rely on the limitation period as a complete defence.
Seeking legal advice promptly is essential for claimants considering a professional negligence claim. Legal professionals can assess the claim’s basis, identify the appropriate limitation period, and ensure that the claim is initiated within the allowed time frame, increasing the chances of a successful resolution.
Assessment of a Solicitor’s Bill Limitation Date
3 months after:
- the date of a judgment awarding costs;
- service of notice of discontinuance under rule CPR 38.3;
- the date when the right to costs arose (CPR 47.7)
Assessment of solicitor’s bill
This time limit is extended to 12 months if special circumstances exist as to why you didn’t challenge the bill within a month (Section 70 Solicitors Act)
HMRC Tax Penalties, Assessments or Notices Limitation Date
If you have received a penalty, unless otherwise stated you must appeal, usually within 30 days of the date of the penalty notice. Please check the notice itself which should set out your appeal or review rights.
When dealing with tax penalties issued by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK, it is essential to be aware of the specific limitation period for appealing such penalties, assessments or notices. Generally, unless stated otherwise, if you receive a tax penalty notice from HMRC, you must file an appeal within 30 days from the date of the penalty notice.
Unlike the previous sections that discussed limitation periods based on the Limitation Act 1980, the HMRC tax penalties limitation date operates under specific rules set forth by HMRC. Therefore, the time frame for appealing tax penalties is governed by the provisions outlined in the penalty notice.
If a taxpayer receives a penalty notice for various tax-related offences, such as late filing or underreporting income, the clock starts ticking from the date the taxpayer receives the penalty notice. To ensure that the appeal is lodged in a timely manner, it is crucial for the taxpayer to promptly review the penalty notice, understand the grounds for the penalty, and prepare the appeal accordingly.
Failing to appeal within the 30-day limitation period may result in losing the opportunity to challenge the penalty, and HMRC’s decision may become final. This highlights the importance of acting swiftly and seeking professional advice if necessary when faced with HMRC tax penalties.
Tax matters can be complex, and the appeal process may involve presenting evidence, legal arguments, and navigating specific tax laws and regulations. Therefore, taxpayers may benefit from engaging an experienced team of HMRC tax litigators to handle the appeal and ensure that all necessary documentation and arguments are properly presented within the limited timeframe.
In summary, for HMRC tax penalties, claimants must adhere to the 30-day limitation period for appealing the penalty, as indicated in the penalty notice. Taking timely action and seeking professional assistance can greatly impact the success of the appeal and potentially lead to a favorable outcome for the taxpayer.
HMRC operate very strict time limits and you may lose your right to challenge a penalty with HMRC or in the Tribunal if you submit an appeal out of time. Our tax team can advise on challenges to HMRC and appeals in the Tax Tribunal.
Judicial Review Limitation Date
The claim form must be filed promptly (the primary deadline) and in any event not later than 3 months after the ground to make the claim first arose (CPR 54.4(1))
It is important to check time limits carefully as there are shorter time limits for claims such as certain planning judicial review decisions need to be commenced within 6 weeks and procurement decisions within 30 days (CPR 54.5)
Judicial review is a legal process in which a court reviews the lawfulness of decisions made by public bodies or officials. In the UK, the limitation period for filing a judicial review claim is governed by the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR).
- Standard Limitation Period for Judicial Review:
Under CPR 54.4(1), the claimant must file the judicial review claim promptly and, in any event, not later than 3 months after the ground for making the claim first arose. This means that from the moment the claimant becomes aware of the decision or action they wish to challenge, they should do so promptly (ie within 30 days) and at most may have 3 months to initiate the judicial review proceedings.
For example, if a public authority makes a decision that adversely affects an individual’s rights or interests, the 3-month limitation period starts from the date on which the decision is made or communicated to the claimant. It is crucial for claimants to act promptly (30 days) and ensure that their claim form is submitted with urgency to avoid the risk of the claim being time-barred.
- Shorter Time Limits for Certain Judicial Review Claims:
It is essential to exercise caution when dealing with specific types of judicial review claims, as there are shorter time limits for certain decisions. As stated in CPR 54.5, claims challenging certain planning decisions must be commenced within 6 weeks, and procurement decisions must be commenced within 30 days.
These shorter time limits apply to specific categories of cases to ensure swift resolution and avoid undue delays in projects or public decisions that may have significant implications.
Given the strict and varied time limits for judicial review claims, claimants must be vigilant in understanding the relevant deadlines applicable to their case. Seeking legal advice at the earliest opportunity can help clarify the specific limitation period for their claim and guide them through the intricate judicial review process.
In conclusion, the limitation period for filing a judicial review claim is 30 days to 3 months from the date the ground for making the claim first arose. However, for certain types of decisions, shorter time limits apply. As judicial review involves complex legal proceedings, claimants should act promptly well before 30 days and seek professional guidance to ensure compliance with the relevant time limits and optimise their chances of success in the judicial review process.
Limitation Periods under s26/s28 Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”) – Money Claims
In cases involving actions for damages under sections 26 and 28 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”), the limitation period for a money claim is arguably six years from the date the principal sum is repaid, rather than from the date of earlier payments made in respect of fees or interest. This conclusion was drawn in Bhattacharya v Oaksix Holdings Limited  EWHC 1326 (Ch) by comparing claims under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (“CCA”).
The court acknowledged the applicability of various cases, such as Rahman v Sterling Credit Ltd, Nolan v Wright, Patel v Patel, and Collin v Duke of Westminster, which provided guidance on limitation decisions concerning the Consumer Credit Act 1974. The court found that the reasoning behind applying the six-year limitation period was not erroneous and determined that it clearly applied to the claim for repayment of monies under FSMA section 28(2).
The case in question involved a bridging loan taken by the claimants, the Bhattacharyas, from Oaksix Holdings Limited (“Oaksix”). The loan agreement went through several extensions and repayments, leading to the claimants seeking a declaration that the agreements were unenforceable under FSMA and claiming repayment of interest and fees paid to Oaksix.
The judgment addressed two main issues:
- Limitation Period: The Bhattacharyas argued that their money claims fell under the 12-year limitation period for actions on a specialty (section 8(1) of the Limitation Act 1980), rather than the six-year limitation period under section 9 of the Limitation Act. However, the court upheld the shorter limitation period, agreeing with the Deputy Master that FSMA claims are analogous to CCA provisions and are subject to the six-year limitation period. The court clarified that the claim for payment of money arises solely from the statute, and without it, the claimants would have no basis for their claim.
- Accrual of Limitation: The judgment examined when the limitation period starts running. According to section 9 of the Limitation Act, a cause of action accrues when all the necessary facts exist to support the plaintiff’s right to a judgment. In this case, the court determined that the critical fact triggering the money claim was the repayment of the capital, which occurred on 27 August 2013. Until that date, the claimants did not need to bring a money claim because they owed more money to Oaksix under the loan agreement than the interest and fees they wrongly paid. Thus, the cause of action for the money claim only arose on 27 August 2013, less than six years before the claim was brought.
The court clarified that sections 26 and 28 of the FSMA do not require a borrower to bring proceedings to obtain relief. The borrower is entitled not to perform the agreement and can recover sums transferred under the agreement while also repaying sums received. As a result, until the first loan was repaid, there was no need for the appellants to bring proceedings for the repayment of money, and they could not have done so earlier, as the balance of sums due and owed would have led to an order for payment to the lender. The critical fact giving rise to the claim for the recovery of money was the repayment of capital, which occurred on 27 August 2013, less than six years before the proceedings were commenced.
It’s essential to note that this judgment was given in the context of an appeal against a strike-out and summary judgment. Nonetheless, the court’s analysis and analogies drawn with established case law related to the CCA make the determination regarding limitation in money claims under FSMA highly persuasive. This judgment provides valuable arguments for claimants facing limitation issues in FSMA cases.
Limitation Periods under s26/s28 Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”) – Declaration Claims
Bhattacharya v Oaksix Holdings Limited  EWHC 1326 (Ch) also considered the application of s8 and s9 of the Limitation Act 1980 to s26 and s28 of FSMA 2000 Act. The claim for a declaration fell within s.8(1) of the Limitation Act and was subject to a 12-year limitation period.
Section 8(1) of the Limitation Act 1980 deals with specialty debts. A specialty debt is a debt arising from a written instrument, such as a deed. This section stipulates that actions to recover a specialty debt must be brought within 12 years from the date the debt became due. So, if a claim falls within the scope of a specialty debt, the claimant has 12 years from the date the debt arose to bring the action.
On the other hand, section 9 of the Limitation Act 1980 relates to other types of actions, not classified as specialty debts. This section establishes a general six-year limitation period for actions that are not specifically covered by other provisions in the Act. It applies to claims seeking the recovery of money, where the cause of action does not fall under the definition of a specialty debt.
In the case discussed, the lender acknowledged that the claim for a declaration of unenforceability under section 26(1) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”) fell within the scope of a specialty debt. As a result, the lender accepted that this claim was subject to the 12-year limitation period set out in section 8(1) of the Limitation Act 1980. This means that the claimants had 12 years from the time the debt became due to bring the action seeking a declaration of unenforceability.
The discussion on the application of sections 8 and 9 of the 1980 Act is crucial because it determines the appropriate limitation period for the specific claims under FSMA sections 26(1) and 28(2). By clarifying which section applies to each claim, the court establishes the time frame within which the claimants are allowed to bring their actions for declarations of unenforceability and repayment of monies under FSMA.
Enforcing Judgments Limitation Date
6 years from the date on which the judgment became enforceable (Section 24 of the Limitation Act 1980)
In English law, the process of enforcing a judgment obtained through a court proceeding is subject to a specific limitation period as outlined in Section 24 of the Limitation Act 1980.
According to Section 24, the claimant has 6 years from the date on which the judgment became enforceable to take action in enforcing the judgment. This limitation period comes into effect once a judgment has been rendered by the court and becomes enforceable.
The “enforceable” date of a judgment refers to the point at which the court’s decision becomes legally enforceable, allowing the successful party (judgment creditor) to take steps to recover the awarded sum or enforce other remedies as determined by the court.
It is essential for the judgment creditor to be proactive in enforcing the judgment within the 6-year timeframe. Delaying the enforcement process can risk the claim becoming time-barred, and the judgment creditor may lose the ability to recover the awarded sum through legal means.
When enforcing a judgment, the judgment creditor has various options available, such as issuing a writ of execution, obtaining a charging order against the judgment debtor’s property, or seeking a third-party debt order against someone who owes money to the judgment debtor. The choice of enforcement method may depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the assets available for recovery.
Conversely, judgment debtors should be aware of the 6-year limitation period for enforcing judgments against them. If the judgment creditor fails to take action within this timeframe, the judgment debtor may have grounds to argue that the claim is time-barred and cannot be enforced.
Understanding and adhering to the limitation period for enforcing judgments is crucial for both judgment creditors and debtors. Seeking legal advice from experienced professionals can help parties navigate the enforcement process effectively and ensure compliance with the relevant time limits.
Property Litigation Limitation Dates
Action to recover land: 12 years from the date the cause of action accrued (Section 15 of the Limitation Act 1980)
Action to recover rent: 6 years from the date the rent arrears became due (Section 19 of the Limitation Act 1980)
Action to recover proceeds of sale of land: 12 years from the date the right to receive the money accrued (Section 20 Limitation Act 1980)
If you have a landlord-tenant dispute or a complaint against an individual or firm who advised you in a property transaction, our property litigation team can assist.
Employment Law Limitation Dates
Employee’s contract claim: 3 months from the effective date of termination (Employment Tribunals Extension of Jurisdiction Order 1994)
Unfair Dismissal: 3 months from the effective date of termination or if there is no termination, the last day on which the employee worked (Section 111 Employment Rights Act 1996)
Discrimination and victimisation: 3 months starting with the date of the act to which the complaint relates or such other period as the Employment Tribunal thinks is “just and equitable” (section 123 Equality Act 2010)
If you have been unfairly dismissed, discriminated against in the workplace or have any other dispute against your employer and would like advice on bringing a claim in the Employment Tribunal, our employment team can assist.
Defamation Limitation Date
1 year from the date of the defamatory publication or when the claimant became aware of the publication of the defamatory statement (Section 4A Limitation Act 1980)
Where material is online, and continues to be published online, the time will start to run from the date the material was first published.
In the realm of defamation law in the UK, the limitation period for bringing a claim is outlined in Section 4A of the Limitation Act 1980. This provision governs the time within which a claimant must initiate legal action against a defamatory publication.
Under Section 4A, the claimant has 1 year from either of the following events to bring a defamation claim:
- The Date of the Defamatory Publication: The 1-year limitation period starts from the date the defamatory statement was first published or communicated to a third party. This means that if a defamatory statement was made public on a certain date, the claimant has 1 year from that specific date to file a claim for defamation.
- The Date the Claimant Became Aware of the Defamatory Publication: In some cases, the claimant may not immediately become aware of the defamatory statement’s publication. Therefore, the limitation period also allows the claimant 1 year from the date they became aware of the defamatory publication to initiate the defamation claim. This provision ensures that claimants have sufficient time to discover the defamation and seek legal remedies, even if the defamatory statement was published without their immediate knowledge.
It is crucial for potential claimants in defamation cases to act swiftly and seek legal advice promptly upon becoming aware of a defamatory statement or its publication. Failing to bring a claim within the 1-year limitation period may result in the claim being time-barred, and the court may refuse to hear the case.
Defamation claims can be complex, requiring careful assessment of the alleged defamatory statement, its publication, and its potential impact on the claimant’s reputation. Seeking legal counsel from experienced defamation lawyers is essential to determine the best course of action and navigate the legal process effectively within the specified time frame.
In summary, the limitation period for defamation claims is 1 year from either the date of the defamatory publication or the date the claimant became aware of the defamatory statement’s publication. Claimants must act promptly and seek legal assistance to safeguard their reputations and pursue appropriate remedies within the given timeframe.
Extensions to the Limitation Date
Date of knowledge
Section 14 of the Limitation Act 1980 provides for two alternative start dates for negligence claims:
(1) 6 years from the date the cause of action accrues i.e. when the damage occurs; or
(2) 3 years from the “earliest date on which the Claimant had both the knowledge required for bringing an claim for damages in respect of the relevant damage and a right to bring such a claim.
For the reasons above, it is vital to seek legal advice as soon as you become aware of a potential claim you have against a Defendant.
Section 32 of the Limitation Act 1980 states that “any fact relevant to the plaintiff’s right of action has been deliberately concealed from him by the Defendant” the 6 year period for bringing a claim does not start until the Claimant has discovered the concealment, or could have done so with reasonable diligence.
The term “deliberate” means that the fact has been concealed by a positive act of concealment or omission or withholding of relevant information.
This means the Defendant must have known that he acted in breach of duty before he can be accused of deliberate concealment. This is a difficult hurdle to overcome and it is important you seek specialist legal advice on the same.
Our team of carefully selected solicitors and barristers, specialising in financial services litigation and professional negligence have advised many clients in deliberate concealment cases against well known financial institutions in relation to mis-selling of complex financial products.
Section 32(1)(c) provides for the limitation period to be extended where the action being brought “is based upon the fraud of the defendant”.
In certain cases where a claim is based on the fraud of the defendant, the standard limitation period may be extended to allow the claimant additional time to bring the action. Section 32(1)(c) of the Limitation Act 1980 deals with this scenario and provides a specific provision for fraud-based claims.
Under Section 32(1)(c), the limitation period for fraud-based claims does not begin to run until the claimant has discovered the fraud or could have reasonably discovered it with due diligence. This means that the clock for the limitation period starts ticking from the date the claimant becomes aware of the fraudulent conduct or when they could have reasonably discovered it by exercising reasonable diligence.
The rationale behind this provision is to prevent defendants from benefiting from their fraudulent actions by running out the standard limitation period before the claimant even becomes aware of the fraud. It ensures that claimants have a fair opportunity to pursue their claims for redress in cases where fraud is involved.
To illustrate this, consider a situation where a claimant enters into a contract with a defendant who knowingly misrepresents critical information to induce the claimant into the agreement. If the claimant discovers the fraudulent misrepresentation five years after the contract was formed, the limitation period under Section 32(1)(c) would not begin until the claimant became aware of the fraud. As a result, the claimant would have additional time beyond the standard limitation period to bring the action for fraud.
However, it is crucial to note that even under Section 32(1)(c), there is still a maximum time limit for fraud-based claims. The claimant must bring the action within a reasonable time after discovering the fraud, even if it extends beyond the standard limitation period. Delaying the claim excessively after discovering the fraud could still lead to potential difficulties in pursuing the case.
In conclusion, Section 32(1)(c) of the Limitation Act 1980 grants claimants an extended limitation period for fraud-based claims, starting from the date the claimant becomes aware of the fraud or could have reasonably discovered it with due diligence. Seeking legal advice promptly upon discovering fraud is essential to ensure the claim is pursued within a reasonable time and to maximize the chances of a successful outcome.
Section 32(1)(c) provides for the limitation period to be extended where the action being brought “is for relief from the consequences of a mistake“.
Section 32(1)(c) of the Limitation Act 1980 offers an extended limitation period for claims seeking relief from the consequences of a mistake. This provision applies to cases where a claimant is seeking to rectify a mistake that has resulted in adverse consequences for them.
Under Section 32(1)(c), the limitation period for mistake-based claims does not commence until the claimant has discovered the mistake or could have reasonably discovered it with due diligence. This means that the clock for the limitation period starts ticking from the date the claimant becomes aware of the mistake or when they could have reasonably discovered it by exercising reasonable diligence.
The purpose of this provision is to ensure that claimants have a fair opportunity to seek relief from the repercussions of a mistake without being unfairly barred by the standard limitation period. It recognises that mistakes can often remain hidden or undiscovered for a considerable period, and claimants should not be penalised for discovering the mistake after the standard limitation period has expired.
To illustrate this, consider a scenario where a claimant enters into a business contract based on erroneous financial information provided by the defendant. Several years later, the claimant discovers the mistake in the financial calculations that significantly impacted the terms of the contract. Under Section 32(1)(c), the limitation period for the claimant to seek relief from the consequences of the mistake would not begin until they became aware of the mistake. This provides the claimant with additional time beyond the standard limitation period to bring the action for rectification.
However, similar to claims based on fraud, Section 32(1)(c) imposes a “reasonable time” limitation for mistake-based claims. After discovering the mistake, the claimant must bring the action within a reasonable time. The purpose of this limitation is to prevent undue delay in pursuing the claim after discovering the mistake.
In conclusion, Section 32(1)(c) of the Limitation Act 1980 extends the limitation period for claims seeking relief from the consequences of a mistake. The limitation period starts from the date the claimant discovers the mistake or could have reasonably discovered it with reasonable diligence. Seeking legal advice promptly upon discovering the mistake is essential to ensure the claim is pursued within a reasonable time and to maximise the chances of obtaining the desired relief.
My limitation date is approaching: What can I do to protect my position?
Your legal rights may be subject to limitation and thereby irreversibly time-barred if you fail to take legal action or defend a legal claim in time. Therefore you should not delay in seeking legal advice.
Entering into a standstill agreement
A standstill agreement is a contract and subject to the same rules as other contacts. The purpose of such agreements is to extend or suspend a limitation period.
Before a claim is issued, the parties should use reasonable endeavours to engage in pre-action correspondence to see if they can resolve the dispute, in compliance with pre-action protocols.
A standstill agreement, if one can be agreed, can buy time for both parties. The parties will agree in written terms to stop the clock in order to engage in pre-action correspondence or settlement.
Issuing a protective claim form
In the event the parties cannot agree a standstill agreement, or negotiations are ongoing between the parties, you may need to issue a protective claim form if there is a risk that your claim will be time-barred pursuant to any of the time limits above.
The period of limitation stops when the claimant issues proceedings and the critical date is issue, not service. The Claimant will then have four months to serve the Claim Form.
The Court will seal the claim form with the date the claim form was received, reflecting your compliance with the relevant time limits. It is important to note the Court closing times for issuing a claim as most Courts will close at 4pm, therefore your claim form must make it to a court clerk or be received by the Court before then.
Where possible, issuing a claim form at least one business day before the date of limitation may avoid any administrative or human error which may lead to your claim becoming time barred.
My solicitor or adviser failed to advise me about time limits
It is crucial for practitioners to consider limitation issues as soon as instructed in order to prevent the possibility of a claim being time-barred. If you have been inadequately or negligently advised by a solicitor, barrister or any other professional adviser in relation to a potential claim, then you may be able to recover any losses in a claim for professional negligence against the firm or individual providing the advice. Our professional negligence team can assist by assessing your case and advising you on the next steps.
Initial Fixed Fee consultation with Solicitor & Barrister
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Please note that we are unable to provide free or legal aid advice and do not work on low value claims. For legal and regulatory reasons, we can also strictly only give legal advice once we have been formally retained via a fee and you have become a client. We charge a minimum fee of £1500 plus VAT to provide advice in conference with a solicitor and barrister. We don’t provide any free legal advice.
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LIMITATION ACT 1980 – WARNING
The Limitation Act 1980 sets out strict statutory deadlines within which you must bring litigation claims. Your legal rights will become irreversibly time-barred if you fail to take legal action (or defend a claim on time). Therefore, you should seek specific legal advice about your legal dispute at the very first opportunity so that you understand the time you have left. Failure to take advice or delay in taking action can be fatal to your prospects of success.
Please note that for regulatory reasons we do not offer any free advice.