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Gloucestershire Business News

Rise in CCJs against businesses 'may be cause for alarm'

An alarming increase in county court judgements against companies has been revealed in a new report.

According to figures released by the Registry Trust, CCJs against companies went up by 36 per cent in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period in 2016.

The Registry Trust is the registrar of judgments, orders and fines in England and Wales, on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.

In addition, it collects, verifies and publishes judgment information from jurisdictions across the British Isles and Ireland.

Registry Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston said: "This sudden reversal of trend may well be a cause for alarm.

"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."

In the first quarter of 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 £81million, but the average value of a business judgment fell 24 percent to £2,712, which is 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 by 83 percent in the first quarter of 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 the first quarter of 2017, the lowest first quarter total on record.

The total value surged 486 percent to £96.6million due to two unusually large judgments, one worth £66.6million against Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd and the other worth £14.8milion against Anaconda Group LLC.

Excluding these, the average value of a High Court business judgment was £1.2million.

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