The Damages Claims Portal was anticipated to be made mandatory for legally represented defendants in June 2022; however, that roll-out was delayed due to technical issues. Under the newly published 150th Practice Direction, its use will now become mandatory where notice is given (see below) on or after 15 September 2022.
As was required in the Practice Direction published (but not implemented) in June 2022, for use of the DCP to be mandatory, a claimant will be required to give the defendant 14 days’ notice of their intention to bring a claim in the DCP, and the defendant must have instructed a legal representative. In a change to the earlier Practice Direction, defendant legal representatives will be obliged to confirm the email address to which notification in the DCP is to be made – and claimants will be obliged to use that email address for notification.
This is a welcome improvement; DWF has experienced claims being notified to a variety of email addresses. It would be welcome in any future Practice Direction for the defendant’s (correct) reference to be a requirement for notification within the DCP.
We continue to utilise and feedback regarding the operation of the DCP. We are concerned that the Portal is being mandated despite ongoing issues with the login process (with the main issues being multiple access codes being required, and handlers being logged out). We are also concerned about the robustness of the system, having experience of a claimant law firm naming DWF as the claimant lawyers on a Claim Form within the DCP.
From an insurer's perspective, the key will be to instruct your lawyers as early in the process as possible.