On 28 May 2021, HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) launched a new damages claim service.

HMCTS will test the service with nine claimant law firms over three months, before extending it to a wider audience.

The new service will accommodate Part 7 damages claims for single-party claims (that is, where there is one claimant and one defendant).

The pilot is supported by Practice Direction 51ZB.

The new service will allow legal professionals to:

  • issue a claim
  • provide an acknowledgement of service
  • inform the court of any agreed extension to file the defence
  • respond to a claim
  • provide information for a directions questionnaire

After the directions questionnaire, cases will be managed in the usual way under civil procedure rules.

In the long term, the government’s goal is to create an end-to-end transformed digital service for claims in the county court, from pre-action to enforcement.

How to get involved

Although the service will initially be piloted with nine claimant law firms, any defendant firm can register for the service and respond to claims issued by the pilot firms.

In order to use the service, you’ll need to be signed up to MyHMCTS, the online case management tool for solicitors and other legal professionals, managed by HMCTS.

Before the launch, HMCTS and the judiciary co-ran events for both claimant and defendant law firms. If you missed the live events, you can watch recordings below:

If you have any questions, email damagesclaims@justice.gov.uk.