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For an array of reasons, you may wish to engage in court proceedings either as or on behalf of your business. Entering into court proceedings requires a range of documentation. One such document you will be required to present is a statement of claim. This article will:

  • outline what a statement of claim is;
  • detail what it should contain; and
  • outline the other documentation that should accompany a statement of claim.

What is a Statement of Claim?

A statement of claim is a written document that tells both the court and the respondent to your claim, or the defendant, what you seek from the court proceedings and why you are seeking it. Your court case officially commences once you have filed this document with the District Court or High Court that is closest to the respondent’s home or place of business. 

What Should a Statement of Claim Contain?

Unlike other court documents, there is no prescribed form for a statement of claim. However, you should include certain details in the document.

Details of the Parties Involved

The cover sheet of the statement of claim should contain the following details of both you, the applicant, and all respondents to the claim:

  • full legal name;
  • physical address; and
  • occupation. 

If you are entering into these proceedings in a representative capacity, you should acknowledge this on the cover sheet.

Causes of Action

The statement of claim should clearly detail the circumstances that caused you to make your claim. These circumstances are called the causes of action. You may include multiple causes of action, but these should each have their own paragraph.

Additionally, you should articulate each cause of action in enough detail to allow the reader, be that the court or the respondent, to understand what you are alleging occurred. You should refer to:

  • specific times;
  • key locations; 
  • amounts (where relevant);
  • names of persons; and
  • any other information or circumstances that are material to your claim. 

However, you should not include particular pieces of evidence (such as witness statements) or written submissions. You have to specify the facts that this evidence supports. 

Relief or Remedy Sought

You should clearly state what form of relief or what type of remedy you are seeking from this claim. For example, if you are claiming damages or seeking the recovery of a sum of money, you should state this amount as precisely as possible. However, the court may also grant other forms of relief that you have not claimed for where it sees fit or appropriate. 

If you have included multiple causes of action, you must separately detail the relief you seek from each cause of action immediately after detailing that cause. 

What Other Documents Should Accompany a Statement of Claim?

There are other documents that you must file alongside a statement of claim to begin court proceedings. These documents are a:

  • memorandum; 
  • notice of proceedings; and
  • list of the documents relied on. 

Memorandum

As the statement of claim is the first document you will file in your court proceedings, you must file it alongside a memorandum. This memorandum contains the details of the individuals filing the case, such as their legal name and physical address. The memorandum can either be completed by you, on behalf of your business, or your business’s solicitor. This document must comply with the memorandum template detailed in the District Court Rules or High Court Rules. 

Notice of Proceedings

You will have to provide a notice of proceedings alongside the statement of claim. This document informs the respondent that you are taking legal action against them. The notice will also include:

  • the date that the notice of proceedings was written;
  • your signature, or the signature of your solicitor; and
  • instructions on how the respondent can file a statement of defence. 

This document must comply with the form specified in the District Court Rules or High Court Rules for notice of proceedings. 

List of Documents Relied On 

You will also have to provide a list of all of the documents that you referred to and relied upon in your statement of claim. This list must comply with the template detailed in the District Court Rules or High Court Rules. 

Once these documents have been filed with and approved by the court, you must serve them to every named respondent. To serve a document means to give it to the other parties involved in the court proceedings. You should serve the statement of claim, a notice of proceedings and list of documents relied on as soon as possible after filing. 

Key Takeaways

A statement of claim is a written document that tells the court and the respondent what you are seeking from the court proceedings and why you are seeking it. Filing and serving this document, alongside a notice of proceedings and list of documents relied on, is the first step in any court case you and your business engage in. If you need assistance in drafting a statement of claim or need legal advice, contact LegalVision’s disputes and litigation lawyers on 0800 005 570 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a statement of claim?

It is a written document that tells the court and the respondent to your claim what you are seeking from the court proceedings and why you are seeking it.

How do you prepare a statement of claim?

You should include the details of all of the parties involved, cause or causes of action and relief or remedy you are seeking.

Where should you file a statement of claim?

You should file it with the District Court or High Court that is closest to the respondent’s home or place of business.

What other documents should accompany a statement of claim? 

You should also file a memorandum, notice of proceedings and list of documents relied on. 

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