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

Cross border enforcement of default judgments

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

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