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The information published on this website is: (a) for reference purposes only; (b) does not create a contractual relationship; (c) does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such; and (d) is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law. Specific legal advice about your circumstances should always be sought.
What is default judgment?
If the defendant fails to file a defence within the relevant time limit, the claimant may obtain a judgment in default of defence, which means that judgment is entered on the claim without a trial. It is up to the defendant to apply to court to have the judgment set aside or varied because he has a real prospect of successfully defending the claim or for some other good reason.
What rules govern default judgment?
The rules governing default judgment are set out at Part 12 of the Civil Procedure Rules . CPR 20 governs default judgment for counterclaims. CPR 10 and CPR 15 set out the time periods for the filing of the acknowledgement of service and serving the defence.
What is the procedure to enter default judgment?
What is summary judgment?
The court may give summary judgment against a claimant or a defendant, either on the whole of the claim or on a particular issue, if it considers that there is:
- No real prospect of that party succeeding on the claim or defence.
- No other compelling reason why the claim or issue should be disposed of at a trial.
What is the basis of an application for summary judgment?
An application for summary judgment can be based on:
- A point of law (including a question of a point of construction of a document such as a contract);
- The evidence which can reasonably be expected to be available at trial (or the lack of it); or
- A combination of both.
What does it mean to strike out a claim?
The court also has the power to strike out a party’s statement of case (including a claim form, particulars of claim or defence), either in whole or in part, if it is satisfied that one of the following apply:
- The statement of case discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending the claim.
- The statement of case is an abuse of process.
- There has been a failure to comply with a rule of court order.
What are the consequences of a strike out order?
- Prevent a party from relying on certain material set out in its statement of case; or
- If the whole of a party’s case is struck out, lead to the court giving judgment for the other party; or
- Penalise a party harshly for not complying with court orders by removing parts of or the entirety of their statement of case; or
- Bring proceedings to an end.
What is a security for costs order?
The court may order a claimant to provide security for the defendant’s costs of the proceedings, usually by way of a payment of money into court. The court must be satisfied that it is just to make the order in all the circumstances of the case and that certain conditions apply to the claimant. For example, security for costs may be ordered where the claimant:
- Is resident out of the jurisdiction.
- Has changed his address since the claim was commenced, with a view to evading the consequences of the litigation.
- Failed to give his address on the claim form, or gave an incorrect address on the claim form.
- Has taken steps in relation to his assets that would make it difficult to enforce an order for costs against him.
The rationale for this measure is to offset any possible injustice to a defendant who may be forced to defend proceedings that have no real prospect of success.
What is an injunction?
An injunction is a Court order that will prohibit a party from taking a particular action which is called a prohibitory action; or may require them to take a particular action which is called a mandatory injunction. Usually the first step is to obtain an interim injunction which will usually be granted pending a further hearing or until a further hearing or until a full trial of the dispute.
If a party breaches an injunction the party can be held in contempt of Court which in some circumstances may lead to imprisonment.
Can I apply for injunctive relief?
The claimant may apply for an interim injunction that requires a party to do, or to refrain from doing, a specific act or acts. In urgent cases, interim injunctions may be obtained without prior notice to the defendant (for example, freezing injunctions that are sought to preserve the defendant’s assets pending judgment or final order).
However, injunctions are only suitable in claims where damages are not an adequate remedy. An application for injunctive relief is not a step that should be taken lightly. A claimant is usually required to give an undertaking in damages (also known as a cross-undertaking) when an injunction is granted. The claimant undertakes to compensate the defendant for any loss incurred, should it later transpire that the injunction was wrongly granted. Depending on the circumstances, the damages awarded under the undertaking can be substantial.
What are the types of injunctions?
The CPR have codified the court’s power to grant types of interim order in CPR 25.1(1). Such interim injunctive relief includes:
- Freezing injunctions – restricting someone from dealing with their assets;
- Orders requiring a party to provide information about the location of property or assets, which may be sought to to support a freezing injunction or as a standalone order;
- Search orders – to permit the search of a respondent;s property to preserve evidence and property; and/or
- Orders requiring delivery up of property.
How much does an injunction cost?
The cost for an injunction is dependent on the circumstances and facts in the particular case.
The level of costs will be affected by:
- The urgency of the application;
- The number of witnesses involved in the matter; and
- Whether the matter is with or without notice.
Instructing our Litigation Lawyers
We ensure that we provide the best possible outcome for our clients by conducting in depth investigation and research into the realistic prospects of a case before selecting the appropriate course of action in order to reduce time and expense. Liability for costs is always an issue in litigation and based on our extensive litigation experience we provide our clients with as much strategic, practical as well as carefully considered legal advice in order to ensure minimum risk in respect of costs. Where appropriate we encourage the use of alternative dispute resolution (such as mediation and without prejudice negotiation) and our lawyer’s negotiation skills are first class. If early settlement at advantageous terms is not possible, we are extremely experienced and capable at navigating our clients through the litigation process.
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