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In the recent case of Taylor-Carr v Howkins and Harrison LLP, the High Court has held that it had no power to extend the time fixed by the 2001 Brussels Regulation for appealing against the registration of a French judgment.

The claimant had obtained a judgment for €10,495.55 plus costs in the Court of Appeal in Pau for estate agents’ fees. It obtained an order from the English High Court registering the judgment with a view to enforcing it in England. The 2001 Brussels Regulation provides that any appeal against such an order must be lodged within one month of service. The defendant issued an appeal eight months out of time.

The High Court decided that the court had no discretion to extend the one month time period and, even if there had been a discretion, it should not be exercised in this case.

The clarification on this point is welcome, though a rigid one month limit for appealing can cause problems in practice. Although a new regime for enforcing judgments from EU countries came into force on 10th January 2015, the old regime, and therefore the principle set out in this case, will still apply to judgments in proceedings instituted before that date.

Chris Harper is a partner and head of the dispute resolution team in Exeter. He specialises in commercial litigation and is named as a leader in his field by independent guides to the legal profession Legal 500 and Chambers. To contact Chris please call 01392 210700 or email drx@stephens-scown.co.uk.