The number of County Court Judgments (CCJs) registered against businesses in England and Wales fell 39 percent from 126,731 in 2019 to 77,139 in 2020, according to figures released by Registry Trust.

The total value of CCJ debt owed by businesses fell by nearly 20 percent, from just under £401 million to £322 million. The average value of business debt rose to £4,178 in 2020, 32 percent higher than the £3,162 seen in 2019. The median value rose by 43 percent from £1,038 to £1,485 over the period.

The number of judgments against larger incorporated businesses fell by 41 percent, from 94,389 in 2019 to 55,537 in 2020. The total value of judgments fell by much less, 16 percent, from £305 million to £255 million. As a result, the average value rose by 42 percent from £3,226 to £4,588, with the median value up 73 percent from £925 to £1,602.

The number of CCJs against smaller unincorporated businesses fell by 33 percent, from 32,342 to 21,602, with the total value dropping from £96 million to over £67 million, down 30 percent. The average value rose from £2,973 to £3,123, up just over five percent, while the median value rose by just under three percent from £1,245 to £1,280.

The number of High Court Judgments against businesses rose from 57 in 2019 to 263 in 2020, an increase of 360 percent. The total value rose from £26million to £337 million, a more than tenfold increase on 2019. The small number of registered High Court Judgments means these figures are subject to large fluctuations.

The number of business judgments marked as ‘satisfied’ in 2020 was 11,940, a fall of 13 percent from the 13,723 in 2019. As the number of judgments registered in 2020 was lower than in 2019, the proportion of judgments marked as satisfied has risen. But, it remains low at 10.8 percent.

Mick McAteer, Chairman of Registry Trust, said “The fall in judgments against businesses in 2020 is encouraging. Interventions by government have shielded businesses against the worst economic impacts of Covid19. But, the numbers bottomed up towards the end of 2020, so we may see judgments now starting to rise again.”

Half Year 2019 Half Year 2020 Change (compared with 2019)
CCJs against all businesses
volume 126,731 77,139 -39.13%
total value £400,665,553 £322,281,321 -19.56%
average* value £3,162 £4,178 32.15%
median £1,038 £1,485 43.06%
CCJs against incorporated businesses
volume 94,389 55,537 -41.16%
total value £304,507,486 £254,816,187 -16.32%
average* value £3,226 £4,588 42.22%
median £925 £1,602 73.19%
CCJs against unincorporated businesses
volume 32,342 21,602 -33.21%
total value £96,158,067 £67,465,134 -29.84%
average* value £2,973 £3,123 5.04%
median £1,245 £1,280 2.81%
High Court judgments against all businesses
volume 57 263 361.40%
total value £26,236,725 £337,485,984 1186.31%
average* value £460,293 £1,283,217 178.78%
median £8,213 £56,630 589.52%
Satisfactions registered by all businesses
volume 13,723 11,940 -12.99
total value £38,799,242 £37,405,359 -3.54%
average* value £2,933 £3,140 10.86%
median £1,238 £1,349 8.93%