Top 6 things you need to know: new charging orders regime

Top 6 things you need to know: new charging orders regime

scales2The charging orders regime under CPR 73 and CPR PD 73 changed with effect from 6 April 2016. Under the new regime it is intended that all straight forward applications for charging order should be made in the County Court Money Claims Centre (CCMCC) where they will be processed and the Interim Order made by a Court Officer. The District Judge will then grant the Final Order without a hearing unless the parties request judicial intervention. Jane Dunlop, partner at Clarke Willmott LLP, considers the new regime.

Top 6 things you need to know

1. Which are the forms to use?

The forms are staying the same, albeit they have been amended. So it is Form N379 to apply for a charging order over land; form N380 for a charging order over securities

 2. Where to apply?

If you are seeking a charging order:

  • In respect of a County Court judgment – apply to the CCMCC unless your application is to seek a charging order over funds in court (in which case, apply to the County Court hearing centre where the judgment or order was made)
  • In respect of a High Court judgment (and you have not applied to transfer the judgment or order for enforcement in the County Court) – apply to the district registry where the High Court judgment or order was made

 3. Who is serving documents under the new charging orders regime?

Regardless of which court you apply to for your charging order, once the interim charging order has been made the court will require you (the applicant) to serve it. For this purpose we recommend that when applying you file two copies of your completed application form and all supporting documents so that the court can return one sealed set to you, which you can then photocopy and serve on the relevant parties.

 4. Who do you have to serve under the new charging orders regime?

This is provided for in CPR 73.7(7). There are deadlines for serving the documents and producing a certificate of service. Note, under the new regime, regardless of whether you are applying for a charging order over land, securities or funds in court, the list of people on whom you need to serve the interim  order now includes the judgment debtor’s spouse or civil partner (if known).

5. Will there be a hearing for a charging order application?

It is anticipated that straight forward applications for charging orders should be capable of being dealt with in the CCMCC as a wholly administrative function, with judicial intervention only being required in complex cases (including those where the charging order is sought over securities or funds in court) or those who start in a court venue other than the CCMCC.

If the application is proceeding in the CCMCC, a court hearing will be convened if objections are received to the making of an interim charging order and/or the judge transfers the matter to the judgment debtor’s home court for a hearing.

In non-CCMCC cases, under CPR 73.10A the court will convene a hearing to determine whether to make the interim charge final regardless of whether or not objections were received to the making of the interim charging order.

6. What is staying the same?

In addition to the continued use of the same form numbers in making your application, those matters which remain the same are:

  • The assets and interests over which a charging order may be sought
  • The need to register an interim charge (where obtained over an interest in land)
  • The fact that a charging order only secures the judgment debt, in order to realise payment you will still need to seek an order for sale to enforce the charging order
  • The regime as regards stop orders and stop notices remains the same; as does the specific rules regarding charging orders and partnerships

Further Guidance

Lexis®PSL Dispute Resolution subscribers can enjoy our Practice Note on Charging Orders.

Click here for a free trial to access if you are not a PSL subscriber.


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About the author:
Ruth specialises in general corporate and commercial dispute resolution with particular experience in shareholder disputes, fraud and warranty claims. Ruth trained and qualified at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP (now Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP) where she remained in practice for ten years. Her work has involved project managing large-scale cases to trial in the chancery and commercial courts. Ruth was actively involved in in-house training with a particular focus on all aspects of evidence gathering and production, including authoring a user-manual on E-disclosure. She is also a contributor to the New Law Journal.