Civil Litigation Jargon Buster

Dealing with a dispute, whether it is small or large, can be a particularly stressful experience, especially if you are unsure about the costs and procedures involved. Our Litigation Team regularly handle a wide range of disputes and we can provide practical and specialist advice with the aim of resolving your dispute quickly and cost-effectively.



This is a written statement which is sworn upon oath or affirmation. It has to be signed in front of a person who is authorised to administer oaths. This is normally a solicitor or legal executive.


An amendment is a change made to a document because the person who created it has become alert to new facts, the situation has changed or the person has simply changed his mind.


This is a method of resolving dispute between parties if there is an on-going claim. The law that governs this area is the Arbitration act 1979.

Burden of proof

This is the obligation to prove what happened and the facts behind the claim. Usually, the burden is on the claimant to prove.


This is the term used to describe the party making the claim in the Court. It used to be referred to as plaintiff.

Claim form

A claim form is used to begin proceedings in the High Court or County Court. This form is used no matter what the claim being bought regards.


This is a document that is filed in response to a claim form. The document will list the grounds of opposition or grounds which they reject. In essence, it will detail what the opponent agrees with and which he does not.


Civil Procedure Rules 1998 – these are the rules that are followed for proceedings in the Court.


This is a sum of money that is awarded by the Court as compensation to the claimant.


Disclosure is usually requested during litigation proceedings. It means that the parties have to make available relevant documents. It is handy when one party denies having possession of the document as the Court will request that all relevant documents are given.


An injunction is given by the Court and stops a person from doing something or it can require a person to do something.

Judicial Review

If there is no right of appeal, it can be possible to challenge the decision made in the inferior Court using the High Court.


This is an alternative to going to Court to resolve disputes between parties. A person is appointment to help both parties reach an amicable solution.

Part 36 offer

This usually happens once proceedings have commenced. For the offer to be valid, it must be in writing and it can relate to the whole claim or part of a claim.

Particulars of claim

This is basically a detail of what the claimant is wanting to achieve. They set their Particulars of Claim out in the claim form.

Pre-action protocol

These are statements of understanding between solicitors and others about pre-action practice.


This is a previous decision or proceeding which may be relied upon.

Prima facie

[Of first appearance; on the face of it] -based on a first impression.


This arises when a party refuse to disclose a document, produce a document or refuse to answer questions regarding a document. They may be able to rely on special interest recognised by the law.

Statement of Truth

Every statement that is made to the Court must contain a statement by the parties confirming that they believe the facts they have set out to be true and to the best of their knowledge.

Witness statement

This is a signed written statement. It is the written equivalent to oral evidence. The witness making the statement may have to give evidence at the hearing.

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