Delays lead to dismissals: An update for set aside applications

In the recent case of AMRA Leasing Ltd v DAC Aviation (EA) Ltd & Ors [2022] EWHC 1718, the Court dismissed the Defendants’ application to set aside default judgment as a result of delays in both making and serving their application.

Following a default judgment entered in March 2020, the Defendants made an application to set aside in August 2020 and served it on the Claimant in October 2020.

The Defendants produced several reasons to set out their delay which did not impress Mr Justice Jacobs.

He stated “Against the background of a lack of promptness and a lack of detail in the case advanced, and the fact that evidence towards this topic has been given by Mr Clark, albeit not particularly detailed, I consider that primacy should be given to leaving the judgment in place in view of the approach which the Defendants have taken to this judgment. It seems to me that that is to accord proper weight in all the circumstances to the lack of promptness on their part in seeking to apply to set it aside. Accordingly, this is a case where, although there might possibly be a defence, the conduct of the Defendants is such that it is appropriate for the judgment to be left as it is.”

This case reinforces the importance of promptness as a key part of any set aside application.

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