Enforcement of Foreign Judgements

If a judgement is secured in a country which is not a signatory of the International Convention for the mutual recognition of court judgements, then said judgment will not be automatically recognised under the laws of Ireland. In these instances, new legal proceedings will need to be brought before the Courts of Ireland where the case will need to be proven.

Brussels 1 Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001) was implemented into Irish Law with effect from the 1st of March 2002. The effect of Brussels 1 means that the Annex 5 procedure can be implemented for civil and commercial matters where an Application is made to the Master of the High Court.


What documentation does a Foreign Creditor require?

Our Enforcement of Foreign Judgements Solicitors will help you identity the relevant documentation. The principal issue of proof which has to be established is that all documents have been properly served upon the Irish debtor. The relevant documentation includes:

  • Originating Summons;
  • Court Orders including Orders for Costs which are the subject matter of the enforcement procedures; and
  • Proof of proper service of relevant documents.


What are the timelines associated with this procedure?

Under normal circumstances it will take 2-3 months from the time a foreign creditor instructs our Enforcement of Foreign Judgements Solicitors with respect to the debt due and owing until Judgement is reached before an Irish Court. Following Judgment, the Irish Debtor has one month within to file an Appeal from the date they received the Enforcement order against them.


Does the Creditor pay enforcement costs?

Initially the costs of enforcement will be paid by the foreign creditor although the creditor has an entitlement to recover those costs from the Irish debtor. Other costs, such as the costs of a Sheriff should be recovered from the Irish debtor as a matter of law.


Are Summary Proceedings used in Recognition of Foreign Judgements

Debt collection generally is taken by way of court proceedings. If the Debt Collection proceedings are not defended, then a Summary Judgement may be obtained by the relevant application.


What kinds of enforcement methods may be availed of?

Having secured Judgement against a debtor, it then must be enforced in circumstances where the debt has still not been discharged. The method of enforcement will depend on the profile of the debtor. Enforcement can be divided under the following headings:


Judgement Mortgage

It may be necessary to register Judgement against a property owned by the debtor, ultimately this would mean that the debt would need to be discharged before the property could be sold or perhaps mortgaged.



It is also open to a creditor to lodge the Judgement with the sheriff for seizure and sale of any goods of value belonging to the debtor.



Garnishee proceedings may also be brought by a creditor which, if successful, will mean a Court may order a third party to pay any monies that are owed to the debtor directly to the Judgement creditor.



One method which is often used is to apply for an Instalment order proceedings in default of payment of the debt. Following a successful application to the Court in relation to the debtor’s financial situation, a Judge may direct that a certain sum of money is paid to the creditor on either a weekly or monthly basis until the amount due plus Costs and Interest are paid in full.


Company Winding Up and Bankruptcy

In circumstances where the debtor is a limited liability company, a creditor may make an application for the liquidation of the company, provided the debt remains unpaid following demand within a certain period. Directors of that company may be made personally liable for the debts of the company as part of the application.


Renewal of enforcement

The Judgement against the Irish Debtor will remain valid for twelve years and it can be renewed before that period has elapsed.


Our 4-stage process

  1. Consultation

A consultation with our Enforcement of foreign Judgements Solicitors will help them to understand the nature of the debt due and owing and will allow them to strategize the best path forward for you.


  1. Letter of Demand

Our Enforcement of foreign Judgements Solicitors will require copies of all relevant documentation in order to fully consider your debt such as invoices and letters requesting payment along with copies of Foreign Debt Collection Proceedings. Our Enforcement of foreign Judgements Solicitors will then draft the relevant letter of demand.


  1. Legal Proceedings

Assuming the debtor does not respond to the letters of demand or make payment, our Enforcement of foreign Judgements Solicitors will issue legal proceedings and represent you in Court of a relevant jurisdiction.


  1. Enforcement & payment of your debt

Once Judgement is secured against a debtor, it then must be enforced in circumstances where the debt has still not been discharged. The method of enforcement will depend on the profile of the debtor.