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Enforcement of Civil and Commercial Judgments from EU Member States following Brexit

Disputes / 03 February 2021

The UK has now left the EU, but future recognition and enforcement of civil and commercial judgments between the UK and the EU member states remains uncertain.

As it stands, the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement applies from the end of the transition period (1 January 2021) and clarifies the rules that govern ongoing proceedings.

It provides that the Recast Brussels Regulation continues to apply to:

(i)  legal proceedings instituted before the end of the transition period (Article 67(1)(a));

(ii)  the recognition and enforcement of judgments given in legal proceedings instituted before the end of the transition period (Article 67(2)(a)).

(iii)  to judgments given in legal proceedings instituted before the end of the transition period and to court settlements concluded before the end of the transition period (Article 67(2)(d)).

However, for civil and commercial cases commenced in the UK on or after 1 January 2021 the Recast Brussels Regulation and the Lugano Convention will no longer apply.

The UK has submitted an application to join the Lugano Convention in its own right with effect from 1 January 2021, but it is not yet known whether the EU will agree.

Unless and until an agreement is reached between the UK and the EU for the continued application of the previous European regime for the recognition and enforcement of civil and commercial judgments there will be no automatic right to enforce judgments as was previously the case.  Rather, judgments will only be enforceable under the common law regime of each country in which enforcement is required.  The process and complexity involved in registering and enforcing judgments in each EU member state will vary considerably from one member state to another.

We will continue to monitor the progress of the UK’s application to join the Lugano Convention in the hope that certainty for cases commenced in the UK on or after 1 January 2021 will follow sooner rather than later.

 

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This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. For advice, get in touch with your usual Greenwoods GRM contact or scroll down to complete our enquiry form.

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