Can you obtain a Judgment in Default under CPR 12?

This article provides an overview of the conditions that need to be satisfied when obtaining a judgment in default in the commercial litigation process.

What is a judgment in default?

A default judgment can be obtained by a claimant in proceedings when the defendant has failed to serve an acknowledgement of service or a defence within the time limit, following the service of the claim form on them. It is a provision under Part 12 of the Civil Procedure Rules (‘CPR’), and a step in the litigation process to encourage defendants to respond to a claim made against them in a timely manner, otherwise a judgment will be made against them without a trial taking place.

When can claimants obtain a judgment in default?

  • The claimant has served a claim form on the defendant.
  • The defendant has failed to serve a defence within 14 days after the service of the claim form; if an acknowledgment of service is served, failing to serve a defence 28 days after the service of the claim form.

Judgment in default is not obtainable in the following situations:

  • The defendant has satisfied the claim, has made an admission to pay, or requested time to pay.
  • The defendant has applied for a struck out of the claimant’s claim or a summary judgment.
  • The claim is for the delivery of goods under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
  • The claim is a Part 8 Claim under the CPR 8.

How do claimants obtain a judgment in default?

You can obtain a judgment in default either by filing a request to the court by paper, or by making an application where there will be a hearing to take place. The defendant will be given the opportunity to make representations and explain why it had been late in filing its defence.

To make a request for a judgment in default for a specified sum, form N225 is used. For an unspecified sum, form N277 is used and will be referred to a Master for directions for assessment of the amount of the judgment.

When an application for a default judgment is made, rules under the CPR 23 need to be complied with. In the Commercial Court, form N244(CC) is used as the application notice.

We are here to help!

Whether you are a claimant in commercial litigation proceedings wishing to obtain a judgment in default against your opponent, or a defendant in a position where a claim is made against you and may be facing a scenario of a default judgment made against you, please do not hesitate to contact us by making an enquiry online or by calling us on +44 (0)20 7632 4300, we are here to help!


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