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Caterham F1 case “a first” for enforcement of court judgments


Harrison Drury has successfully acted for Andrew Wilson & Co High Court Enforcement after an application to the High Court allowed it to retain two racing cars that had been seized from the Caterham Formula 1 team shortly before it went into administration.

Andrew Wilson & Co had been instructed to enforce six court judgments against Caterham. The first of these judgments was satisfied and Caterham had made clear its intention to satisfy the second, which would then have left Andrew Wilson & Co in the position of having to return the cars despite the other judgments remaining outstanding.

The reason for this is that, under The Taking Control of Goods Regulations, which came in to force in April 2014, seven days’ notice must be given before goods can be seized.

While seven days’ notice had been given to seize goods to enforce the first and second judgments, notice in respect of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth judgments had been given at later dates and so seven days had not yet expired. Andrew Wilson & Co would therefore have had to return the cars and once the seven day period had expired, attempt to seize them again.

The new legislation, however, provides for an application to court to be made to shorten the seven day notice period in circumstances where there is a risk that the goods may be moved or otherwise disposed of.

In this case, Caterham was due to compete in the Japanese Grand Prix the following weekend and there was a risk that the cars would have been taken there. This was not known for definite, but the point was made to the court that if Caterham had no intention of taking the cars to Japan, it could have provided an undertaking to the court not to remove the cars, which it did not do.

The application, made under rule 84.4 of the Civil Procedure Rules, was the first of its kind and will be of interest to those involved in the enforcement of court judgments.

For more information, or to find out more about enforcing judgments or any other matters relating to debt recovery or insolvency, call James Robbins on 01772 258321.

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