Statute of Limitations Laws in the UK
The Standard Limitation Period
- The majority of claims are limited to 6 years under the Limitation Act 1980. This limit includes claims under contract law and for most torts (but not all). Due to their potential complexity, many land law claims are limited to a longer period of 12 years. Similarly, "actions on a specialty" as defined by section 8 of the 1980 Act are also limited to 12 years.
- For the majority of claims under the tort of negligence, section 14A of the Limitation Act 1980 requires that claims be brought within 6 years of the tort being committed. However, for personal injury cases section 11 of the 1980 Act requires that claims be brought within 3 years. This shorter period is due to the seriousness of the claims and the need to collect potentially time-sensitive evidence.
Breach of Trust
- Unlike the majority of other actions discussed in the Limitation Acts, section 21 of the Limitation Act 1980 specifically excludes cases of fraudulent breach of trust. The result is that there is no time limit for fraudulent breach of trust cases, although section 21 limits other breach of trust cases to 6 years.