Securing the recovery of a French judgment debt against an English limited company

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Ashfords supported a French National on the recovery of a French judgment debt of c.75,000€ entered against an English limited company, which had been struck off from the Companies Register and dissolved. 

Faced with lengthy and expensive proceedings to seek the restoration of the company so that the judgment could be enforced in the UK, the Ashfords team instead followed a strategy that meant the client could recover a payment for the entirety of the net judgment debt by way of settlement within a matter of months.

The challenge

Having had his employment terminated in 2017 for economic reasons, our client successfully pursued his employment claim and secured the judgment in September 2022. 

Our client subsequently discovered the company had been dissolved and struck off the Companies Register, just months before the judgment, on the application of the company's sole director. Ashfords were then instructed.

Our approach

In order to enforce the judgment against the company, our client was faced with lengthy and expensive proceedings: firstly applying to have the judgment recognised in English law; secondly applying to restore the company to the Companies Register; and finally, taking enforcement action against the company, which presented a number of issues.

Having incurred considerable time and money over five years to obtain the judgment, our client was faced with further lengthy and expensive proceedings to enforce it, and the very real risk he would not make a recovery from the company.

Our investigations revealed the director had links with the United States the company's American corporate parent. They further revealed the director had not complied with his legal obligation to provide notice of the dissolution application to our client, as a creditor, thus removing our client's opportunity to object, and enforce his judgment.

Whilst our client could pursue further legal action we sought to pragmatically and quickly resolve the dispute without resorting to court, addressing the issue directly with the parent company and director.

The result

Through effective dialogue we secured a substantial payment to our client in settlement of the judgment debt, within a matter of months and for significantly less cost than our client would otherwise have faced enforcing through the courts.

For more information, please contact David Pomeroy or Nikki Brastock from our Restructuring & Insolvency team.

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