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

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

  • Cross border enforcement of default judgments
  • Requirement for service of the claim form/originating document
  • Potential difficulties with enforcing a default judgment
  • Trial in the absence of the defendant
  • Enforcing a default judgment—defendant is a State
  • Setting aside a default judgment is a matter for the courts that ordered the default judgment

This Practice Note sets out the considerations when determining the ability and potential difficulties in enforcing a default judgment of the courts of England and Wales in another jurisdiction.

For guidance on obtaining a default judgments or seeking to set one aside, see: Default judgment—overview.

For guidance on the enforcement of a default judgment between EU Member States, see Practice Note: Enforcement of default judgments under Brussels I (recast).

Requirement for service of the claim form/originating document

Default judgments are obtained where either the defendant has not served an acknowledgment of service form or, if they have, they have not filed a defence. Where a default judgment has been obtained and the claimant is seeking to enforce the judgment, a key consideration for the enforcing court will be whether the claim form/orginating document was brought to the attention of the defendant. This is generally considered by reference to whether there was valid service of the claim form/originating document.

In cases in which difficulties were encountered in trying to effect service, it may be possible to effect valid service despite non-compliance with the procedural service requirements in the country in which the proceedings were commenced., An example can be seen in Reeve v Plummer (2014), a case in which a default judgment was obtained in the Dutch language Court of First Instance in Brussels and enforcement was sought in England.

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