Outcome | Appeal | Recovery
Legal Dispute Outcome
Congratulations and well done, you have at last won your legal dispute that began several years ago, after successfully navigating all the previous steps along the way, i.e;
So what happens next?
Possible Appeal from the Defendant
Court rules and process allows a losing defendant to make an application for permission to appeal to the lower court at the hearing at which the decision to be appealed was made. This appeal notice must be filed within 21 days after the date of the decision of the lower court which the defendant (now appellant) wishes to appeal.
The original court may grant permission, but this is very unusual as it would indicate the judge accepts that his original decision may not be right.
More often than not, permission is refused and the defendant would have to apply for permission from the Court of Appeal itself. Again, this would need to be done within 21 days of the original decision to be appealed along with grounds of appeal.
If permission is granted, then unfortunately your legal dispute is still not over and you are in for another period of legal costs and stress.
But for our ongoing example, we shall assume the Court of Appeal refused permission as the proposed appeal didn’t stand a realistic prospect of success. This is now the end of the matter, and you have won your legal dispute.
Now you have a successful judgement that is not being appealed. This judgement debt consisting of your damages award and costs must be paid within 28 days of the date of judgement unless the court has made a specific Order that it should be paid by instalments.
If the defendant does not pay within that time frame, then you will have to go down the enforcement route to compel payment. Enforcement of a judgement does not happen automatically, but there are a number of options open to you to enforce your judgement.
Enforcement of judgement
When a judgement is obtained, the unsuccessful party may make payment voluntarily. If it does not, various enforcement procedures are available including arranging for assets to be seized and sold or obtaining a charging order over the unsuccessful party's property. There is also the option of forcing the party into insolvency if the judgement sum is not paid.
The most common methods of enforcement are outlined below. Your lawyer will advise you as to which method or methods are likely to be the most appropriate for the particular circumstances of your case.
Send bailiffs to collect payment
You can ask the court to send bailiffs to collect the money. The bailiff will ask for payment within 7 days. If the debt is not paid, the bailiff will visit the debtor’s home or business to see if anything can be sold to pay the debt.
You can apply to either a county court or the High Court if you’re owed between £600 and £5,000.
Get money deducted from wages
You can ask the court to take money from the debtor’s wages to pay the debt. They do this by sending an order to the debtor’s employer.
Freeze assets or money in an account
The court can freeze money in the debtor’s bank, building society or business account.
Charge the debtor’s land or property
You can ask the court to charge the debtor’s land or property.
Insolvency Proceedings Individual Bankruptcy
Provided the Judgement Debtor owes more than £750, a Judgement Creditor can apply for an individual to be made bankrupt or for a company to be wound up. Before doing, the Judgement Creditor must serve a Statutory Demand on the Judgement Debtor.
Conclusion of Legal Dispute
Unfortunately, enforcing a judgement also costs money with court fees and lawyers fees on top of the original estimates, but some of them may also be recoverable from the defendant.
So hopefully by now you have not only won your legal dispute, but actually been paid your damages and costs. Once your lawyer has deduced his share for his costs and fees, and the ATE insurance premium, you will be paid anything that’s left over, and then that is the end of your legal dispute.