My client has not instructed me for three months. Can I apply to come off the court record?

My firm acted for a claimant in a litigation matter. We have been without instructions for three months. Despite extensive efforts to contact and locate the client, we have been unsuccessful. Should we make an application to come off the court record?

If you’re without instructions and can no longer progress the litigation, you should make an application to come off the court record.

If your client cannot be contacted to sign a notice of acting in person, then you should make an application pursuant to Part 42.3 of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR).

The application would be for a declaration that you have ceased to be the solicitor acting for the party and should be made under CPR Part 23.

You must support your application with evidence – usually a statement of truth – setting out the grounds for the application.

Notice must usually be served on the client. If the client cannot be located, you may be able to persuade the court to dispense with service.

Orders that a solicitor has ceased to act are usually made as a matter of course when it is shown that the solicitor is no longer acting.

A sealed copy of the order must usually be served on your former client, so you should ask the court to dispense with this requirement.

The order must also be served upon any other parties to the proceedings and it takes effect when it is served.

For more information, contact the Practice Advice Service.


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

Have you got a practice question?

Call the Practice Advice Service on 020 7320 5675 or email

The Practice Advice Service is staffed Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

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