Depending on the type of claim, the Court has set down a number of rules, called Pre-action Protocols, which set out the expected conduct of a potential litigant. If no specific Protocol applies, there is a general Practice Direction which will apply.

Broadly, any formal litigation or court process is expected to be the last resort. The parties are expected to behave reasonably, giving each other time to set out their respective cases, provide evidence and discuss settlement.

The failure to observe this conduct can lead to a Court penalising a defaulting party.