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In the US, when one commences a process in court one is said to bring proceedings. “If you do not make full payment by the 24th of May, my client has instructed me to bring legal proceedings to recover his claim.” When a party starts legal proceedings in the UK, one is said to issue proceedings. “They are waiting for a final assessment of the damage before they issue proceedings.”

You can also say:
• file proceedings
• commence proceedings
• institute proceedings