Please find a list of the commonly used phrases you may have heard or come across when dealing with a dispute or court case.

If you come across a phrase which is not listed below please drop us a line and we will help.




The process of deciding which track the case should follow.

Civil Procedure Rules ('CPR') These are the rules which govern the conduct of court proceedings


someone who brings a claim


someone who defends a claim

Directions Questionnaire

A questionnaire that helps the court decide how to deal with your case and which track to allocate (assign or transfer) your case to. This used to be known as an Allocation Questionnaire. See our guide on Directions Questionnaires

Part 20 Claimant

Where a Claimant or Defendant brings a claim against another party other than the Defendant but in the same proceedings; alternatively, where a Defendant brings a counterclaim. The Defendant will be a Part 20 Claimant and the Claimant will be a Part 20 Defendant.

Part 20 Defendant

A party who is not originally part of the proceedings e.g. because the Claimant or Defendant has added them to the proceedings; alternatively, this could be the Claimant e.g. where the Defendant has made a counterclaim against the Claimant


Where a Defendant, as well as bringing a Defence, makes a claim against the Claimant.

Case management hearing

A hearing where the court decides or the parties agree (with the approval of the judge) how to deal with the case


A formal request (for example, for money or that something is done or stopped from happening) that starts court proceedings.

Claim form

The form that starts a case and where the claimant explains what they are asking for.

Cause of action

The legal basis of your claim


What solicitors charge for the legal work they do (also known as ‘legal costs’). May also include court fees and other expenses.

Court order

The judge’s written decision or direction

Date of service

The official date when a party is deemed to have received a document.

Deemed service

The rules may provide that something has taken place.


Instructions setting out how a case will be dealt with or what the parties must do.


What the Defendant writes to explain why they dispute the Claimant’s claim.

Directions hearing

Another name for Case Management Conference (See above). A hearing where the court decides or the parties agree (with the approval of the judge) the instructions they will follow to get the case ready for trial.


The formal name for the process of showing the evidence that supports your case to the other party. ‘Standard’ disclosure refers to the usual way of going about the process as described in Part 31 of the Civil Procedure Rules.

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