Brexit—service of documents
Brexit—service of documents

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Brexit—service of documents
  • Current position
  • Position under EU(W)A 2018
  • No deal—no transition period
  • Transition period applies
  • After any transition period
  • Potential service methods
  • Further general reading
  • Drafting an appointment of process server clause

This Practice Note considers the impact that Brexit will have on the service of court documents within the EU when the UK leaves the EU. It considers the current position under Regulation (EC) 1393/2007, the Service Regulation and summarises the UK and EU’s respective positions and considers the likely potential outcomes, based on the information available. The Practice Note then considers potential issues which may arise when the UK exits the EU and potential regimes which may assist when seeking to serve judicial and extra-judicial documents in the EU.

For an understanding of how a deal or no deal position may be reached, the House of Commons Exiting the EU Committee report: The progress of the UK’s negotiations on EU withdrawal (June to September 2018) at para [35] provides a useful flowchart.

Current position

When seeking to serve documents out of the UK on a party in an EU Member State, the methods of service are provided for in Regulation (EC) 1393/2007, the Service Regulation. For guidance on the application of the regulation, see Practice Note: The Service Regulation—service outside the jurisdiction.

For guidance on service out of the jurisdiction more generally, see: Service outside the jurisdiction—overview.

Position under EU(W)A 2018

Section 3 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EU(W)A 2018), which is not yet in force, provides that direct