Cross border enforcement of default judgments
Cross border enforcement of default judgments

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

  • Cross border enforcement of default judgments
  • Potential difficulty enforcing a default judgment
  • Service of the originating document
  • Service of the default judgment
  • Court considerations
  • Non recognition of a default judgment—insufficient time for defence or a failure to challenge
  • Does the public policy exception cover limitation periods?
  • Setting aside

Brexit: The UK's departure from the EU on exit day ie Friday 31 January 2020 has implications for practitioners considering how to enforcement judgments. For guidance, see Cross border considerations—checklist, including main sections Service—Brexit specific and Enforcement—Brexit specific.

Potential difficulty enforcing a default judgment

When dealing with proceedings in which the defendant is overseas, it is important to consider whether seeking a default judgment is the most appropriate way forward. Enforcement of a default judgment can be extremely difficult when dealing with international cases because there is no determination on the facts—the default judgment is obtained without any judicial examination of the merits of the claimant’s claim.

If considering seeking a default judgment, strategic considerations apply in relation to whether to seek a default judgment or progress with a trial in the absence of the defendant on the basis that a trial judgment may be easier to enforce. For an insight, see Practice Note: Default judgment—general principles—Cross border cases—defendant is overseas.

In addition, service issues need to be considered.

For the relevant Practice Notes to assist you with enforcement, see: International recognition and enforcement of judgments—overview.

Service of the originating document

It is important to check whether service of the claim form was valid even if the defendant did not receive it. This is because some national laws provide for valid