High Court Enforcement or Bailiffs?


Since the authorisation of High Court Enforcement Officers in this country, I have found that enforcement of judgment is relatively easy.

A County Court Judgment can be enforced either by a County Court Bailiff (CCB) or a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO). If the value of the judgment is over £600 (including court fees), I would recommend transferring it up to the High Court for enforcement by a HCEO.

You will need to provide details of the judgment, a court fee of £66 for the writ and as much information as you have about the debtor, as HCEOs will apply for the writ on your behalf at no cost to you.

The HCEO will recover the debt, court fees, interest and enforcement costs from the debtor, again, with no cost to you. In cases where enforcement is not successful, for example the debtor is bankrupt, cannot be found or has no assets to seize, all that is payable is a compliance fee of £75 plus VAT.

HCEOs have more power than CCBs and have a higher success rate. They are authorised by the Lord Chancellor and work privately or in private companies. HCEOs enforce outside of regular working hours, including weekends, and, other than the compliance fee, a HCEO will receive no income if enforcement is unsuccessful, unlike County Court Bailiffs (CCBs) who are salaried civil servants and work to standard working hours.

Due to the limitations and workloads of CCBs, it can take much longer to begin enforcement which isn’t ideal when you require prompt action.
Overall, our clients find that High Court enforcement is the most cost effective and successful method of recovery.

If you would like any further information on any aspect of debt recovery, please contact richard.anderson@beswicks.com or phone 01782 205000.