This is the second “essential checklist” compiled at a recent course held by Zenith Chambers.   In this workshop practitioners (primarily solicitors), of all levels and type of experience, were asked to produce checklists for the “danger” areas of practice.  The first checklist was on service of the claim form.  The “essential prequel” to the essential checklist may also make useful reading.


The lists do not aim to be useful and not definitive. The previous checklist was usefully complemented by comments and suggestions from readers.  All of the checklists will be produced again in revised form once people have had the chance to contribute.


The teams chose their own names.  This list was produced by “Back to the Future”.


 Identify the status of the claimant as this may affect limitation.

(For instance are they a minor or patient? (If a patient confirm they have had this status since the accident.  If the limitation     period has started running it does not stop).

2. Establish the cause of action as this will govern the limitation period.

(Is it a personal injury action- 3 years or a contract dispute – 6 year or a special period? Are  you sure? [See the post 10 myths about limitation that every personal injury practitioner should know].

3. Establish the identity of the Defendant, i.e. are they an individual or company as this may effect service date.

4. Check the correct name and status of the Defendant.

5. Write the limitation date on the file cover.

6. Record the limitation date in the case management system.

7. Create a placed staged date in file management system e.g. 1 year to go, 6 months to go.  (Be wary of over-doing this because numerous dates and entries may lead to important dates being overlooked).

8.Put key dates in fee earners diary and also ensure they are put in the team/supervisor diary as a cross check.

9. Ensure funding is in place; check what fees need to me paid, check that the right issue fee is sent.

10. Complete claim form and all other relevant documents correctly. Again check that the right fee is sent.

11. Establish the correct court for issue – High Court, County Court, Money Claims etc.

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