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When in a dispute with another party, initiating legal proceedings can be a daunting prospect.

In such situations, a skillfully drafted demand letter can convince the party to resolve the dispute, while still allowing you to preserve your right to initiate legal proceedings.

A demand letter is a letter sent by a lawyer on behalf of their client, demanding that the other party stop harming or interfering with the client’s lawful rights.

It is an essential tool in the arsenal of every good litigator looking to resolve a client’s dispute quickly and cost-effectively, without having to go through the expensive process of commencing litigation.

For the other side, receiving a demand letter from a lawyer can convince them to comply with their obligations. At the very least it puts them on notice that they can be named in legal proceedings if they do not meet the letter’s demands.

A demand letter should set out a short summary of the problem, why it is a problem, and what the other party needs to do to bring the problem to an end.

A demand letter can take many forms.

It can be a ‘cease and desist’ letter, demanding that a party stop doing something that is harming the client.

The letter can be a demand for payment of money owed to the client.

Or the letter can simply demand that a party come back into compliance with their obligations to the client.

There are of course some things that a demand letter cannot do. A lawyer cannot threaten criminal or regulatory proceedings in a demand letter. Nor can a lawyer make claims that they know are clearly not tenable.

If you are in a legal dispute, consider retaining a lawyer to send a demand letter, as an effective and cost-efficient way to enforce your rights.

If the demand letter does not resolve the dispute, that same lawyer is then well positioned to initiate legal proceedings for you.


At Mills & Mills LLP, our lawyers regularly help clients with a wide range of legal matters including business lawfamily lawreal estate lawestate lawemployment law, health law, and tax law. For over 130 years, we have earned a reputation amongst our peers and clients for quality of service and breadth of knowledge. Contact us online or at (416) 863-0125.

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