Sometimes in the course of business, a court case is unavoidable. However, you can avoid being unprepared for the outcome. Whether you are bringing or defending a claim, our expert legal team can advise you on the likely outcomes and what you can do to protect your business after matters have concluded.
Can the losing side appeal against a judgment?
This will depend on the tribunal or court your case is being heard in and whether you have previously appealed in your case. Generally speaking, there will be an appeals’ process for most first-instance decisions. However, whilst there is an appeal process it is very unlikely that an appeal will be made as there has to be specific circumstances met for an appeal to be put forward.
What are the options for enforcing a judgment?
County Court Bailiffs & High Court Enforcement Officers
While most of our clients are aware of the option to enforce a judgment by asking bailiffs to seize assets and property, many are unsure how to get to this point, or whether it is the best option for them. You will need to get a court order if you want to use bailiffs.
Judgments worth between £600 and £5,000 can be dealt with by the County Court or the High Court, while judgments of a higher value can only be dealt with by High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs). The enforcement officer will contact the debtor to ask for payment within seven days. If this does not occur, the bailiff or HCEO will visit the debtor’s home or office (in the case of a business debtor) to see if anything can be seized to pay the debt.
You may be able to apply for a charging order against the debtor’s land and property, which prevents them from selling these assets without repaying the debt from the proceeds.
This is an extremely popular method of enforcement, as if the final charging order is granted then it turns the debt from an unsecured amount to a secured amount. For more information on charging orders, click here.
A Third-Party Debt Order
This order allows the creditor to freeze assets in the hands of a third party (such as a bank) so they can be seized for the benefit of the creditor. They are a useful application to make if the bank/financial details of the debtor are known and they have the money. This order is made without notice, which means the debtor will not know their bank account will be frozen until it has happened. If you're unsure when you can make an application for a third-party debt order, or how to obtain one, you can find out here.
Attachment of Earnings Order
If the debtor is an individual in employment, it may be possible to obtain an order requiring their employer to make regular deductions from the debtor’s wages until the debt is paid, called an Attachment of Earnings Orders (AEO). This is done before the debtor receives their pay.
Can I object to the way a judgment is being enforced?
Yes, it is possible to ask the Court to stop or prevent a certain kind of enforcement. The Court is unlikely to prevent or stop enforcement merely because your business is finding it inconvenient, so it is important to seek legal advice on making the best possible case.
If you believe the judgment shouldn’t be enforced, then an application to the Court can be made to ask the Court for permission to ‘set aside’ the judgment. However, legal assistance should be sought as there are technical requirements of the application to ensure it adheres to the relevant legal principles and the Civil Procedure Rules. Essentially, there should be a sound legal basis for having the judgment set aside.
Contact our Litigation Solicitors in Liverpool, Wirral and Merseyside today
Whatever stage in the legal process you have reached, our team of experienced litigation solicitors can help. With our expert advice, you can be confident you are making the right choices to protect your business and achieve justice. For free initial advice call us today on 0151 659 1070 or get in touch by completing our online contact form.