Catherine Gibaud KC and Clarissa Jones successful in resisting enforcement of 20-year-old foreign judgment registered under the Administration of Justice Act 1920

Catherine Gibaud KC and Clarissa Jones have successfully acted in resisting applications to enforce a 20-year-old Singaporean judgment registered in England in 2004.

Catherine and Clarissa acted for the Defendant in relation to three applications heard by Ms Clare Ambrose sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court:

  1. an application by the Claimant for permission to enforce the 2004 registration by writ;
  2. an application by the Defendant, to set aside an interim third party debt order which had been obtained on a without notice basis by the Claimant (based on the 2004 registration) for material non-disclosure and delay; and
  3. an alternative application by the Defendant for a set-off between any amount held to be recoverable under the 2004 registration and costs which it is owed as a result of costs orders against the Claimant in this jurisdiction which it has not paid. Those costs orders are, in effect, the costs of a previous, failed attempt to enforce the Singaporean judgment in this jurisdiction between 2019-2020 using a different registration order based on the same underlying debt.

Catherine and Clarissa succeeded on all three applications.

Among other things, the Judge agreed that the Claimant had failed to justify its delay in seeking to enforce the 2004 registration or to establish that the circumstances were out of the ordinary so as to justify the grant of permission to enforce after 6 years. She held that, in addition, the Defendant had suffered prejudice as a result of the Claimant’s repeat attempt to enforce the Singaporean judgment in this jurisdiction and its non-payment of costs, which had previously been held to be an abuse of the court’s process.

The Judge held that she would have granted a set-off by judgment had the Claimant succeeded on either of its enforcement applications. The Judge confirmed that, had there been a set-off, s.24(2) of the Limitation Act 1980 would have applied so as to prevent the taking into account of non-recoverable interest on the 2004 registration.

Catherine and Clarissa were instructed by Andrew Hearn and Suzi Goodchild of Dechert LLP.

Click here to view the judgment.

Winner: UK Bar Awards 2023
The Lawyer Awards 2022: Chambers of the Year