Default judgment—general principles for setting aside
Default judgment—general principles for setting aside

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

  • Default judgment—general principles for setting aside
  • Bases for setting aside a default judgment
  • When the court must set aside—CPR 13.2
  • When the court may set aside—CPR 13.3
  • Alternative applications under CPR 3.12 and CPR 13.3
  • Application to set aside a default judgment
  • Provision of a draft defence
  • Conditions imposed when setting aside judgment
  • Transfer of proceedings to the defendant’s home court
  • Restoration of any abandoned claims
  • more

Brexit: The UK's departure from the EU on exit day, ie Friday 31 January 2020, has implications for practitioners considering default judgment. For guidance, see: Cross border considerations—checklist—Brexit—impact on CPR.

Where the claimant has already obtained a default judgment, the defendant may still wish to defend the claim. To do so, the default judgment will have to be set it aside. This Practice Note considers the provisions in CPR 13 dealing with the setting aside or varying of a default judgment entered under CPR 12.

For information on obtaining a default judgment, see Practice Notes: Default judgment—general principles and Default judgment—application or request—application or request.

Bases for setting aside a default judgment

There are two bases for setting aside a default judgment:

  1. CPR 13.2—sets out the circumstances in which the court must set aside the default judgment (mandatory)

  2. CPR 13.3—deals with other circumstances in which the court has a discretion to set aside or vary the default judgment (discretionary)

For information on the provisions in CPR 13.3 and the court’s discretion to set aside a default judgment, see Practice Note: Setting aside default judgment under CPR 13.3.

When the court must set aside—CPR 13.2

CPR 13.2 provides that the court must set aside a default judgment if the judgment was wrongly entered. The court has no discretion and the defendant is