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demand letter


Definitions of demand letter

a formal notice demanding that the recipient perform a legal obligation to avoid being taken to court, eg pay a sum of money or perform an obligation under a contract

The law firm advised him not to send a demand letter unless he had the time and resources to take legal action.

Hello and welcome to TransLegal's lesson of the week. Today we're going to be talking about demand letters. Now a demand letter, also known as a letter before action or a pre-action letter, is a formal notice demanding that the recipient perform a legal obligation. It's typically used to persuade the recipient to take or cease some action, rectify a problem, pay a sum of money, perform under a contract on specific terms and under a specific period of time, or to revoke a waiver of rights or simply to provoke a reaction which the writer can later use to his or her client's advantage. A typical demand letter gives the recipient a chance to perform the obligation without being taken to court. Indeed, in many instances it encourages the recipient to settle the matter. Overall, demand letters should be a firm statement of the client's positions and intentions, and while demand letters are often written to intimidate, they should not bully the recipient. So here are some tips when you are writing a demand letter: • Use plain English whenever possible to ensure that the letter is understood; • Adapt the content to the recipient; • Be polite and avoid personally attacking your adversary; • Avoid common errors such as using inflammatory language and misstating the facts or the law; and, finally, • Collect good examples of demand letters that you've come across in your practice as templates which you can use in the future. I won't demand any more of your time today, but if you have any questions please leave them in the comment box below and myself or one of my colleagues will get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you.