Rise in adverse judgments against companies in 2018

There was an almost 30 percent increase in the number of adverse county court judgments against incorporated businesses in England and Wales in 2018, according to figures released today (February 18) by Registry Trust.

The number of CCJs against incorporated businesses was up by 27 percent at 93,534, though this was counterbalanced by a fall in judgments against typically smaller unincorporated businesses which was one percent lower than in 2017 and is now the lowest annual figure on record at 31,849.

The average value of an adverse business CCJ grew 25 percent to £3,737, while the total value of business CCJs rose 49 percent to £468.6million.

During 2018 the average value of a CCJ against companies rose 27 percent compared to 2017, to £3,971, though the median value fell three percent to £952. The average value for unincorporated businesses rose by 15 percent to £3,052, with the median rising 10 percent to £1,149.

In the High Court 90 judgments were issued in 2018, a 70 percent increase from 2017’s record low, bringing the number back in line with 2015/16 figures. However, the total value of High Court judgments fell to £71.6million, the lowest annual figure on record. The average value of the high court judgments in 2018 fell by 60 percent to £795,666 and the median value at £10,022 had dropped 85 percent from the 2017 figure, which included a number of large value judgments against overseas companies.

Mick McAteer, deputy chairman of Registry Trust said: “The number of County Court Judgments issued in a year is an indicator of how the economy is performing. While the total of judgments against businesses was up significantly this was counterbalanced by the fall in judgments against unincorporated organisations, which was the lowest annual figure on record.”

Registry Trust is the Registrar of Judgments, Orders and Fines in England and Wales (on behalf of the Ministry of Justice). In addition, it collects, verifies and publishes judgment information from jurisdictions across the British Isles and Ireland.

It provides its licensed credit reference agencies with regular updates on outstanding judgment debts. This information affects the ability of all enterprises to borrow.

As well as distributing judgment information under strict licensing to leading credit reference agencies, Registry Trust makes information publicly available through TrustOnline.

There were 202,254 public requests to search the register for England and Wales online during 2018. TrustOnline allows anyone to search for judgments and similar information registered against businesses and consumers in jurisdictions across the British Isles and Ireland.