‘Allocation’ is the name given to the stage in litigation where a claim has been defended (and filed). The relevant Court then makes a decision to provisionally allocate the case to a particular track and notifies the parties in an action of this decision.
The notice regarding the proposed allocation requests that the parties then fill in and file a directions questionnaire (most commonly form N181). Note that if a party is represented, the questionnaire will be sent to the parties legal representative. The directions questionnaire is crucial document in litigation and the parties’ in the action must work together to complete the same. It must be filed in correctly and filed by a date that cannot be varied, even if both parties to the action agree to the same.
The timescale an allocation questionnaire must be completed and filed is dependent on the track a claim is allocated to for example:
Small Claims Track: 14 days after the notice of allocation is served.
Fast/Multi track: 28 days after the notice of allocation is served.
Form N181 is divided into in to 11 parts labelled A to K these sections deal with the following:
Part A: Settlement
Part B: Court
Part C: Pre-Action Protocols
Part D: Case Management
Part E: Use of experts
Part F: Use of witnesses
Part G: Trial
Part H: Costs budgets
Part I: Fee for filing
Part J: Other relevant information
Part K: Directions