Much-needed authority on stays of execution under Brussels I (recast) ‘the Judgments Regulation’ (articles 38, 44, and 51 of regulation (EU) 1215/2012; CPR r 74.7B and 74.7C): Zauli v Lughi [2020] Lexis Citation 282


Reference:
[2020] Lexis Citation 282

Date:
21st July 2020

Court:
Queen’s Bench Division

Facts:

James McKean, instructed by Pini Franco LLP, represented the successful Claimant in Zauli v Lughi [2020] Lexis Citation 282.

 

The Claimant sought to enforce a judgment debt of €2,057,306.21, plus interests and costs, against the shares of an English-registered company. The judgment debt, arising from a ruling of the Court of Appeal of Bologna, was subject to appeal to the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation, and enforcement was opposed by the Defendant on that basis.


Judge:
Master Yoxall

Comment:

Master Yoxall allowed enforcement and, in so doing, provided much-needed guidance on the application of CPR r 74.7B and 74.7C and articles 38, 44, and 51 of the Judgments Regulation (regulation (EU) 1215/2012).

The Master set out the following principles which should help to flesh out an area largely bereft of judicial guidance:

1.      Whether referring to a stay of, a suspension of, or relief against enforcement, the principles to be applied under the Judgments Regulation are all but identical;

2.      The starting point is that a judgment of a Member State is to be treated as a judgment of an English court;

3.      Ordinarily, a ‘judgment creditor is entitled to the fruits of the judgment. This is the starting position even where an appeal is pending’ [paragraph 28];

4.      Domestic case-law (DEFRA v Downs [2009] EWCA Civ 465; Contract Facilities Limited v Estates of Rees [2003] EWCA Civ 465) dealing with stays of execution applies; and

5.      The Court’s discretion is unfettered but solid reasons, often amounting to irremediable harm on the part of the judgment debtor, are needed to stay execution.

 

It must follow that only in rare cases will an outstanding appeal prevent a judgment creditor from enforcing a Member State judgment in England and Wales. 

 

The full judgment is to be found here.

 

James McKean

 

With thanks to Rocco Franco, Nicole Hirst, and Silvia D’Amico of Pini Franco LLP

 

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