There was a sharp increase in the number of county court judgments (CCJs) against companies in England and Wales during the first quarter of the year, according to figures released today by Registry Trust.

In Q1 2017, 29,811 CCJs were registered against all businesses in England and Wales. The increase of 36 percent compared with the first quarter of 2016 bucks the downward trend which has lasted seven years.
The total value of business CCJs rose slightly by four percent to £81m, but the average value of a business judgment fell 24 percent to £2,712 – the lowest average for a single quarter on record.
The increase in the total number and value of business judgments was entirely owing to more CCJs against incorporated businesses. The number of judgments registered against companies rose 83 percent in Q1 2017. By contrast there was a 17 percent fall in the number of judgments issued against the generally smaller unincorporated businesses.
Meanwhile, the number judgments against businesses in the High Court fell to just 14 in Q1 2017, the lowest first quarter total on record. The total value surged 486 percent to £96.6m due to two unusually large judgments, one worth £66.6m against Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd and the other worth £14.8m against Anaconda Group LLC. Excluding these, the average value of a High Court business judgment was £1.2m.
“This sudden reversal of trend may well be a cause for alarm,” said Registry Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE. “Judgments against consumers have been rising for technical reasons. There is no equivalent reason for judgments against companies to have jumped to this extent. Closer examination is needed to unveil the truth behind the statistics.”
Statistics
CCJs against all businesses Q1 2017 (compared with Q1 2016)
  • Total: 29,811 (up 36 percent)
  • Value: £81m (up four percent)
  • Average: £2,712 (down 24 percent)
CCJs against incorporated businesses Q1 2017
  • Total: 21,349 (up 83 percent)
  • Value: £59m (up 24 percent)
  • Average: £2,773 (down 32 percent)
CCJs against unincorporated businesses Q1 2017
  • Total: 8,462 (down 17 percent)
  • Value: £21.6m (down 28 percent)
  • Average: £2,558 (down 13 percent)
High Court judgments against businesses Q1 2017
  • Total: 14 (down 13 percent)
  • Value: £96.6m (up 486 percent)
  • Average: £6.9m (up 569 percent)