Contributed By Signature Litigation LLP
For proceedings served within the jurisdiction, the defendant must generally file at court and serve on the claimant a statement of defence within 14 days of service of the particulars of claim, unless the defendant has acknowledged service of the proceedings within that timeframe, in which case the defence is due 28 days after service of the particulars of claim. In the Commercial Court, the defendant must file and serve an acknowledgement of service within 14 days of service of the claim form in any event, and then file and serve its defence 28 days after service of the particulars of claim. If the defendant does not do this, the claimant may apply to court for default judgment against the defendant.
In claims seeking to recover money and/or the delivery of goods, default judgment may be obtained without a hearing by filing a standard-form request. In respect of default judgment in non-money claims, for example where equitable relief is sought, the claimant must make an application to court and judgment may only be obtained at a hearing. Certain money claims may also require the court's permission to obtain default judgment, for example, where the claim form has been served outside the jurisdiction without permission under EU regulations or claims against vulnerable individuals.
It is open to a defendant against whom a default judgment has been entered to apply to set aside the judgment. The court will grant such an application if the defendant can show that the default judgment was wrongly granted or that the defendant has a real prospect of successfully defending the claim.