Commercial LawContract LawWhat is a Cease-and-Desist Letter?

March 4, 20210

Cease and Desist letters stop outside parties from violating your rights and is often a pre-cursor to court action. They may also include demands for further action such as publication of a letter of apology. These steps are the first line of defense. They commonly aim to enforce legal rights without resorting to litigation.

What is in a Cease and Desist Letter?

A Cease and Desist letter will usually include the following:

  • A statement of your legal rights;
  • Descriptions of the alleged infringement of those rights;
  • Steps you would like the other party to take to rectify the situation;
  • Your intention to take further legal action, usually litigation, if the infringing activity does not stop;
  • Any further demands as the case may be.

Why do you need a Cease and Desist Letter?

Sending this letter will save your time, effort, and significant expenses as an alternative to taking the matter to court. It can also avoid the bad publicity that often comes with strenuous lawsuits. It is, therefore, particularly useful for sensitive matters. In the event the letter is unsuccessful in persuading the other party to stop their offensive conduct, the court may take that into consideration and make a cost order against the party in any subsequent litigation. Otherwise, these letters are a convenient, cost-effective way to resolve legal disputes.

When do you need a Cease and Desist Letter?

“Cease and Desist letters may be sent whenever your legal rights are being infringed”

This may occur in situations where:

  • You are being harassed by debt collectors. There are certain laws that collectors must abide by when chasing up debts and a failure to do so can warrant legal action;
  • Your copyright, trademark, or patent has been misused;
  • You have been defamed (someone has made statements intended to damage your reputation, either personally or as a business);
  • You are being harassed.

How do you send a Cease and Desist Letter?

In order for your letter to be persuasive, it needs to contain a legally accurate statement of rights and the allegations of infringement. It must therefore be drafted in the proper form by a qualified lawyer for the following reasons:

  • Determining the seriousness of the action. A lawyer can advise as to the strength of your grounds of action. Placing false accusations in the letter can have negative consequences. Therefore, a lawyer will be able to advise of the prospects of success by judging the legal issues at hand.
  • Properly drafting the letter. A lawyer will be able to draft the letter in an appropriate and comprehensive manner. A lawyer should cover all relevant issues to ensure no legal rights remain violated.
  • Conveying formality. A cease and desist letter drafted by a lawyer gives further weight to the claims made.



Article by:

Varuni Weerasinghe, LL.B (London)


Velox Partners


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