Court reform

Online damages claims become mandatory

From Monday 4 April, all damages claims that fall within the scope of Practice Direction 51ZB must be issued online, using the damages claims portal on MyHMCTS.

Person typing on laptop

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) launched the civil damages claims service in May 2021. The pilot was supported by a new practice direction (PD 51ZB).

From 4 April 2022, users wishing to issue a claim that is covered by PD 51ZB will be required to:

Sanctions for paper applications

If a claim is issued on paper rather than via the new portal, it will be for the court (either of its own motion or on application of the parties) to determine whether it should have been issued online and, if so, what (if any) sanction should be imposed.

Using the damages claims portal

The damages claims portal allows users to:

  • see the latest activity on your claims
  • manage and maintain your firm’s MyHMCTS account, meaning you do not need to contact HMCTS to add or remove users
  • allocate additional litigators to individual claims as shared access, to cover any supervision roles required or to cover annual leave

You are not restricted by how many litigators can use the service.

The self-service system is available 24/7 and can be used to issue claims for:

  • one claimant versus one defendant
  • one claimant versus two defendants, and
  • two claimants versus one defendant 

Resources

Guidance for professional users: Issue a damages claim using MyHMCTS (PDF 2.7 MB)

Watch a webinar to see the journey from issuing a claim to response

Download a list of frequently asked questions (Word 421 KB)

Feedback

HMCTS will be reviewing the response journey for claims between March and August 2022. 

Some aspects of the portal need further clarification from HMCTS.

If you have feedback you’d like us to raise with HMCTS, email hmctscourtreform@lawsociety.org.uk.

Join our webinar

Our Civil Litigation Section is holding a webinar on whiplash reforms and damages claims services updates. 

Date and time: Tuesday 17 May, from 2pm to 3pm
Cost:

  • £45 for practising certificate (PC) holders
  • £55 for non PC holders
  • free to Section members

Book your place

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