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Results: 4 Answers
Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
8.
Trends and predictions
8.1
How would you describe the current enforcement landscape and prevailing trends in your jurisdiction? Are any new developments anticipated in the next 12 months, including any proposed legislative reforms?
 
UK
The most significant anticipated development is the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, which will affect the application of the EU rules in relation to the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.

The United Kingdom and the European Union negotiated a draft withdrawal agreement which was published on 14 November 2018. The draft agreement provides for a transition period for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal which would end on 31 December 2020 (Article 126). During this transition period, EU law - including the Recast Brussels Regulation - would continue to apply in the United Kingdom (Article 127). The draft withdrawal agreement also states that after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal, the Recast Brussels Regulation will continue to apply to the recognition and enforcement of judgments given in legal proceedings instituted before the end of the transition period - that is, before 31 December 2020 (Article 67(2)).

The UK Parliament has voted against entering into the withdrawal agreement on three separate occasions. As at July 2019, there is significant uncertainty as to whether the draft withdrawal agreement will be entered into or what alternative arrangements the United Kingdom might seek to negotiate with the European Union.

In a technical notice published on 13 September 2018, the UK government stated that if the United Kingdom and the European Union do not enter into a withdrawal agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario), then the United Kingdom will repeal the rules giving effect to the Recast Brussels Regulation and the Lugano Convention, and the recognition and enforcement of judgments obtained in EU member states will be governed by the common law and statutory rules that apply to the rest of the world. It also stated that repealing the rules giving effect to the Lugano Convention will not prevent the United Kingdom from applying to rejoin the Lugano Convention in its own right at a later date.

Even if the draft withdrawal agreement is entered into, it remains unclear what rules, if any, will be agreed between the United Kingdom and the European Union after the end of the transition period. However, the United Kingdom has indicated that it intends to seek a close and comprehensive framework of civil judicial cooperation, on a reciprocal basis, closely mirroring the existing EU rules.

The United Kingdom currently participates in the Hague Convention as an EU member state. The United Kingdom deposited an instrument of accession to the Hague Convention in December 2018 so that if it withdrew from the European Union on 29 March 2019 without entering into the withdrawal agreement, it could continue to participate in the Hague Convention in its own right. The United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed an extension to the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union until 31 October 2019. The United Kingdom has therefore suspended its accession to the Hague Convention until 1 November 2019. The United Kingdom has indicated that if it enters into the withdrawal agreement, it will withdraw its instrument of accession to the Hague Convention.

For more information about this answer please contact: Anna Pertoldi from Herbert Smith Freehills