Defend a claim

You can defend a claim made against you by sending a Statement of Reply to the Tribunal. This is an official form you fill in as a defence to the Statement of Claim.

Your Statement of Reply must be received by the Tribunal within 22 working days after the day on which you receive the Statement of Claim.

Seek legal advice if there is anything you don’t understand.

Find out more about how to reply to a claim and what to expect in our guide:

Guide to filing a reply [PDF, 742 KB]

Form to file a reply

Statement of reply [PDF, 386 KB]

Important tips for writing your Statement of reply

Your Statement of reply must include:

  1. The case number – that is the number that appears after ‘HRRT No.’ in the top right of the Statement of claim. Disregard the ‘office use only’ in the top-right corner of the form.
  2. The plaintiff’s name from the Statement of claim.
  3. Your name, occupation, physical address and postal address.
  4. Your daytime contact phone number(s), email address and/or fax number.
  5. If you have a representative you must provide their full details. If your representative is not a lawyer you must also complete an Authority to Act form.
  6. Look at the facts of the case in Part 4 of the Statement of claim. Each fact/allegation should be set out in numbered paragraphs. You should respond to every fact/allegation and say whether you accept or reject the allegation made. If you reject an allegation, you should briefly say why and, if appropriate, give your own version of the matter.
  7. Your signature and the date.
  8. You must provide the Tribunal with an original plus three copies of your Statement of reply.
  9. A copy of your Statement of reply must also be sent to the plaintiff(s).

If you don’t defend a Statement of Claim

If you decide not to file a Statement of Reply, the case can go to a hearing without you.


You don’t need to have a lawyer or a representative to defend a claim. It is highly recommended that you are represented by someone with experience in dealing with the type of claim you are defending. If your representative is not a lawyer, you will need to complete an Authority to Act form:

Authority to act [PDF, 451 KB]

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