The Spider’s Web When Enforcing Your Judgment

Updated: Feb 15

As High Court Enforcement experts, we are of course interested in the dry stuff which is the Civil Justice Quarterly published by Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS).

Make a court claim for money: Enforce a judgment

Our of these stats some interesting insight appears in relation to claims and judgments that are entered on the back end of the claim process.

Of course, this is interesting to us because judgments are the raw material which keeps Shergroup Enforcement Agents busy. Though, there was a notable decrease in all types of civil justice actions which can primarily be linked to Covid-19 measures undertaken by the court. So, in the Q1 report of 2021, it was reported that from April to June 2020, country court claims were down 75% on the same period in 2019, to 118,000. Of which 77,000 were specified money claims. Also, there were 68,000 judgements made from April to June 2020, in comparison to 304,000 in the same quarter of 2019. Of these judgments, 59,000 (86%) were default judgments. Judgments were historically down to 78% compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Our quest is to turn as many of these judgments into cash for judgment creditors who now have the benefit of an enforceable order for the payment of money. So, we continue to nudge and encourage judgment creditors to take judgments over £600 in value to the next level. By transferring them to the Higher court, they can access High Court Enforcement Agents who compel payment wherever possible under a High Court Writ of Control. Although warrants issued were also down to 97% when compared to the same quarter in 2019. In April to June 2020, 24,000 warrants were issued down 97% from 93,000 in the same quarter of 2019. Out of these, 21,00 (86%) were Warrants of Control.

A reason for this decrease is highlighted in the report as being “a particularly sharp decline following the impact of Covid-19 and over the longer period of time, there has been a decreasing trend in enforcement-related applications received since 2009, possibly because of claimants’ preference for making use of warrants rather than retrieving money, property or goods.

Writ of Control, Warrant of Control and HMCTS

We are not sure we are with HMCTS when the report says that customer preference is the use of the Warrant of Control. If it is then this is something that needs fine-tuning. Sending thousands of Warrants to a court system which is unenthusiastic about achieving a positive creditor experience is not a preference – it’s a spider’s web of being caught up in an automated process.

What users have to do is figure out the exit from this automated Warrant of Control process. Just like the Hobbits in Lord of the Rings they will have to hack their way through to the alternative. All they need is the form of judgment, and once that is sent to an HCEO, such as our very own Claire Sandbrook, it can be converted into a Writ of Control. The advantage is faster attendance times, better reporting, and enthusiastic and trained agents who work to achieve the best possible outcome. Our approach is balanced against the need to be fair to the Judgment Debtor.

Book a call with Claire Sandbrook or a member of the Shergroup TEAM if you would like to review your current enforcement strategy and improve your own stats.


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