Henshaw J in DVB Bank SE v Vega Marine Ltd & Ors  EWHC 1494 (Comm) (on substance a straightforward case on sums loaned) made some important observations on the benefits of summary judgment as opposed to a default judgment in the context of recognition and enforcement.
There is no doubt the English courts have jurisdiction per a valid choice of court clause under A25 BIa. Claimants are pressing for summary judgment, citing
- Brexit. The Withdrawal Agreement extends EU law in civil procedure to proceedings issued before the end of the transition period, however claimants express anxiety over the speed of Greek enforcement proceedings given courts’ shutdown in the Covid19 era. At 61: ‘Greek counsel has advised the Claimants that the Greek courts shut down earlier this year for an indefinite period, so that obtaining an enforcement order in Greece would be likely to be delayed;’.
- More crucially however, Henshaw J notes at 61, correctly, that even under BIa, default judgments are more vulnerable: ‘there is a risk that an enforcement order based on a simple default judgment, even if obtained before 31 December 2020, might be set aside on public policy grounds. Greek counsel advised that the Greek courts would be much less likely to refuse to recognise and enforce a reasoned English judgment following a hearing on the merits.’
Summary judgment was given against the defendants.