Interest on judgment debts

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

  • Interest on judgment debts
  • When and at what rate do judgment debts attract interest?
  • Interest during a stay of execution pending appeal
  • Tomlin orders
  • Interest on judgment debts expressed in a foreign currency
  • County Court judgments
  • Interest on costs
  • Cause of action merges in judgment—interest claimed under lending agreements

Interest on judgment debts

This Practice Note provides guidance on claiming interest on judgment debts. For information on claiming interest when issuing a claim, see Practice Note: Claiming interest.

When and at what rate do judgment debts attract interest?

Judgment debts accrue simple interest at a rate of 8% a year until payment, unless rules of court provide otherwise, pursuant to section 17 of the Judgments Act 1838 (JA 1838) and the Judgment Debts (Rate of Interest) Order 1993, SI 1993/564. This rate has applied to judgments since 1 April 1993.

The court cannot vary the rate of interest under JA 1838 (except for foreign currencies—see: Interest on judgment debts expressed in a foreign currency) (School Facility Management v Governing Body of Christ the King College (applying Rocco Giuseppe v Tradax Export and Chubb v Dean) and Schlumberger Holdings v Electromagnetic Geoservices) but it can determine the date from which interest will run (CPR 40.8).

Interest runs from the date judgment is given, unless the court or a rule or Practice Direction says otherwise (CPR 40.8(1)). The court may order that interest shall begin to run from a date before the date that judgment is given (CPR 40.8(2)).

In Rihan v Ernst & Young Global, the court held that where the question of interest is dealt with in a later consequential judgment, CPR 40.8 should be construed such that interest

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