Default Judgment

When a claim is issued, there are usually two parties the claimant (the person(s) filing) and the defendant (the person(s) which the claim is filed against). A default judgment is ordered when the defendant fails to respond to a claim or put forward a defense. Usually, a request for default judgment (sometimes referred to as an ‘automatic judgment’) will be ordered by either a County Court or the High Court of Justice and can apply to either civil or commercial claims.

What do I do if a claim is filed against me?

It is especially important to ensure that you have documents and evidence relating to the judgment as if you elect to set it aside, this will be necessary for any application. This evidence will usually include:

  • evidence of a contract
  • any correspondence between the parties including but not limited to the letter of claim
  • any documents from the court prior to the default judgment
  • basis of your defense

One of the key requirements for an application to set aside a default judgment will be to act promptly and failure to do so may cause the court refuse an application notwithstanding its merits. At Lincoln & Rowe, our expert solicitors have years of experience in acting for individuals, owner managed enterprises, national and international businesses based in the UK and abroad in a range of jurisdictions for both claimants and defendants.

How is a default judgment resolved?

Below is a non-exhaustive list for resolving a default judgment:

  • Paying the judgment
    If the request for default judgment is correct and the amount owed is valid, payment can be made in full which will entitle you to either a certificate of cancellation or satisfaction depending on when payment is made following the order for default judgment.
  • Settling the judgment for less than requested
    If a creditor thinks you may apply to set aside the judgment, they may agree to negotiate and subsequently enter into an order confirming it has been paid and no further sums are due.
  • Setting aside the judgment
    If it is found that the default judgment debt is invalid or made in error, you may have grounds to challenge it and potentially have it eradicated. Your legal adviser will determine the best course of action of how to challenge the lawsuit.

Read more about the importance of acting quickly and 7 facts you need to know when setting aside a default judgment.

Speak to our litigation lawyers today

If a judgment has been obtained against you or your business, contact one of our team now for practical and informed legal advice.

Make an online enquiry, send an email to or call us on +44 (0)20 3968 6030.

Who we can help

At Lincoln & Rowe we can assist both individuals and companies where a default judgment has been obtained against them.

Where can you find us?

Lincoln & Rowe Solicitors are based in the heart of London and just a few minutes’ walk from the Royal Courts of Justice on Chancery Lane. Our full address is 81 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1DD.

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Dipesh Dosani Partner
Dipesh advises clients on a wide range of commercial disputes including breach of contract, directors’ disputes, shareholder remedies, partnership issues, professional negligence and intellectual property. He is also able to provide clients with advice on all aspects of insolvency as well as investigations including misfeasance, undervalue transactions, preferences, transactions to defraud creditors and wrongful trading.