Enforcement of EU & European Judgments

If a judgement has been obtained outside of England & Wales then how that judgement is enforced depends on where the judgment originated.  This includes:

  • countries to which the European Enforcement Order (EEO) Regulation applies;
  • countries which have signed the Brussels Regulation or the Lugano Convention;
  • countries with which the UK has bilateral enforcement conventions in place;


EEO Regulation

This method enables simple, quick enforcement within the EU. It can be used for money judgments obtained for uncontested claims. It should be used, when possible, in preference to other regimes which take longer and are more complicated.

It can be used if the debtor, agreed to the debt, and this has been approved by the originating court in a consent order, did not defend the claim at all, so there is a default judgment or did not defend the claim in court when the claim was tried.

A real benefit is that the application is made to the originating court rather than in England and Wales. Once the EEO certificate is issued the judgment is treated by courts in England and Wales as if it had been delivered by a court in England and Wales.


The Brussels Regulation

The Regulation only applies to judgments or court orders in civil or commercial proceedings – not criminal, bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, or property or matrimonial cases,or cases involving wills and succession.

The application must be made in the enforcing state, in this case England & Wale.  Various documents must be filed including the judgment and a certified translation.

If the case meets its requirements then the Court in England or Wales should declare the judgment enforceable and not re-examine the case..


The Lugano Convention

This governs the enforcement of judgments as between Iceland, Switzerland and Norway; and all pre-2004 EU states plus Poland.  It contains broadly the same provisions and the procedure is broadly the same as under the Brussels Regulation.

However, the enforcing court in England or Wales may refuse to recognise and thus enforce a judgment on grounds including public policy, whether the debtor had sufficient time to respond to the original claim, and whether the judgement irreconcilable with a judgment given in a dispute between the same parties in England and Wales.

We will review the matter and advise you on which option is best suited to your specific needs and objectives. 


 With our Head Office based in Hull and two Consulting Offices in London and Leeds we are easily accessible for consultations. Call us on 01482 616 616 or 0800 037 1305 to book a free telephone consultation to discuss your issues and requirements.

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Enforcing US Judgment in the UK Contact Request Form