CPR - Sending formal documents - Address at which to Serve Documents on your Opponent

Once proceedings (which are subject to the Civil Procedure Rules) have started your opponent has to notify you and the court office of a (physical) address at which formal documents may be delivered to them (CPR 6.23). They can only specify one physical address for service of documents at any one time but they can change that address at any time by notifying you and the court office in writing. Your opponent must give a physical address for service. They can also give an email address for service as well but they do not have to.

It is important to understand that the fact that your opponent (or your opponent’s solicitor if they have engaged a solicitor to conduct the litigation on their behalf) has used a particular email address when corresponding with you does not automatically mean they are notifying you that that email address is their address for service of documents. It is only if they have, at some time, actually said in writing that that email address may be used “for service of documents” or “for service” (which means the same thing) that it can be. Otherwise the email address is merely a correspondence address.

If you are in any doubt as to what physical address your opponent has given for service of documents, and whether your opponent has also given an email address for service of documents, you can send me the formal document, or correspondence, in which your opponent has provided addresses, and ask me to advise you. Store my reply in an email folder called Service for future reference. Any subsequent notification from your opponent changing their address for service should also be stored in the Service folder so that you can easily check, when the time comes for you to serve a document on your opponent, the address to use and whether service by email is valid or not. 


This information page is designed to be used only by clients of John Antell who have entered into an agreement for the provision of legal services. The information in it is necessarily of a general nature and is intended to be used only in conjunction with specific advice to the individual client about the individual case. The rules governing service of documents, as interpreted by appeal court decisions which set precedents, are notoriously complex and this information page should not be used by, or relied on, by anyone else. 

The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.

This page was lasted updated in May 2020      Disclaimer