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Enforcing Foreign Judgments

If you have obtained a foreign judgment, and wish to enforce it within England and Wales, Griffin Law can assist.

We are also able to assist a judgment debtor wishing to prevent the enforcement of a foreign judgment.

Registration of a foreign judgment

No judgment will be enforced unless it is recognised. The procedure for registration requires that the following is filed with the court:

  • The judgment or a certified copy;
  • A translation in English of the judgment if necessary; and
  • An affidavit in support of the application.

If the judgment is registered, notice is given to the defendant who has 21 days to apply to set aside the registration.

How are foreign judgments enforced?

The regime that governs the enforcement of the judgment, is largely dependent on the jurisdiction in which the original judgment is obtained. This is because there may or may not be a reciprocal arrangement for the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment within England and Wales.

Where does your judgment originate from?

  • Judgments from Scotland or Northern Ireland- the UK regime.
  • Judgments from EU and certain EFTA countries- the European regime.
  • Judgments from commonwealth countries- the Statutory regime.
  • Judgments from other countries- the Common Law regime.

The United Kingdom Regime

The rules for enforcing judgments obtained in Scotland or Northern Ireland are set out in sections 18, 19 and Schedules 6 and 7 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982. This applies to all judgments in civil proceedings, except provisional measures.

The European Regime

The date in which the proceedings were initiated determines what regulation applies. If the judgment was commenced on or after 10 January 2015, the Recast Brussels Regime 1215/2012 applies. If it was after this date, the 2001 Brussels Regulation will apply.

The Common Law Regime

The Common Law Regime requires that a foreign judgment can only be enforced under certain circumstances. It is required that the judgment is final, conclusive, on its merits and for a sum of money. In addition, a foreign judgment is only enforceable under this regime if it satisfied that the original court had jurisdiction according to the English law, either on a territorial or consensual basis.

The Statutory Regime

The Administration of Justice Act and the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act applies to cover commonwealth countries. In order to be enforceable under this regime, a judgment must be final, conclusive and be for a sum of money. Moreover, it is a requirement that the foreign court must have jurisdiction on either a territorial or consensual basis.

How we can help

The Civil Procedure Rules 1998 contains detailed and strict requirements for the registration and enforcement of foreign judgments in England’s courts. These regimes are often complex and in certain situations there is an increased level of uncertainty in the wake of Brexit.
As a specialist litigation practice, Griffin Law can advise foreign firms and their clients of the procedures that need to be followed – and the chances for recovery of any judgment debts – at any time from before the commencement of proceedings in another jurisdiction to the time that that foreign judgment actually needs to be registered and/or enforced through the English courts.

Griffin Law can assist you in ensuring your judgment is correctly enforced. Griffin Law has a wealth of experience in debt recovery, civil litigation and cross-border and international litigation. In addition, Griffin Law has access to the best advice in jurisdictions where a judgment may originate.

Griffin Law provides prompt, commercially astute and cost-effective advice to foreign law firms and their clients.

If you would like assistance in registering or enforcing a foreign judgment in England & Wales. Please contact