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I Have Received A High Court Writ…What do I do?

15th August, 2020
Robert Moore

Written ByRobert Moore

Marketing Manager


Rob has over a decade of experience in web and general marketing. He has extensive knowledge of the Insolvency sector and has helped many worried directors with their questions.

Rob is now working with the Board at KSA Group Ltd to develop strategic marketing programmes to support the business plan and drive more company rescues.

Robert Moore
  • What is a High Court Writ?
  • How are Writs of Control enforced?

What is a High Court Writ?

A High Court Writ is a formal written order by the high court, on behalf of creditors, requesting they receive the debts they are owed. There are many types of High Court Writs, yet the most common is the writ of control. This writ allows the seizure and if so be it, the removal and sale of the debtors goods, if the debt is not repaid or a payment plan is not agreed. Receiving a writ is not advisable – it will be held on the registry trust for six years which can put strains on your ability to obtain credit.

Writs tend to have a time frame specified – typically a year.

If you have received one, you have 7 working days to react and try to prevent bailiff action.

  1. Most obviously, pay off the debt! Take into consideration that high court enforcement officers (bailiffs) will add charges to your debt, so it would have already maximised anyway.
  2. If you cannot pay the debt all at once, you may need to apply for quick finance or seek alternative ways of raising cash – see our page on this here for more information.
  3. Consider your budget. Can you afford paying now?
  4. Contact the bailiff and your creditor and see if an agreement to pay in instalments can be arranged. Include as much detail as possible, to encourage them to agree.  If it is agreed, ensure you comply and pay the agreed sums on time, if not earlier, to demonstrate your commitment. If you fail to pay any instalments, bailiffs have the right to seize your goods which amount up to the debts value and sell them at auction.
  5. If an arrangement cannot be made, a ‘’stay of execution’’ can be applied for. It is a last option though as it is hard to justify being granted for one. If you are granted, your writ will be paused so you can sort out your matters – however a court fee is charged.

If none of these options are feasible for you and the writ cannot be prevented, bailiffs (enforcement agents) have the right to visit your commercial premises, with forced entry and take possession of assets and remove goods for auction.

How are Writs of Control enforced?

Claimants can either directly or via their solicitor, obtain a county court judgement against debtors for their money owed. If the debt remains after this, for those valuing more than £600, it can be transferred to the high court, hence become a high court writ.

The writ of control will be addressed to the High Court Enforcement Officer who is named, and they will be the one responsible for its enforcement. They also get the power to value the amounts of the goods seized – if needed.

For claimants, getting a writ of control is more effective in terms of cost and time, as it offers a quicker and more successful route, than other enforcement options. Also, despite the claimant having to pay a £66 fee, the amount can be added to the total debt they are owed and so claimants’ benefit. However, claimants should be relatively certain they will be able to get their payment, as if unsuccessful, a £75 fee +VAT will be charged.

helpful advice for trading whilst insolvent

Trading Whilst Insolvent – Worried Directors Guide

Trading whilst insolvent is a legal term used to describe a business which continues trading when it cannot pay its debts and its liabilities are greater than its assets.  It can lead to a breach of several provisions of the Insolvency Act 1986 which can result in the directors being held personally liable

Trading Whilst Insolvent – Worried Directors Guide

Birch Hotel Properties Go Into Administration With Cheshunt Site Closing Immediately

Birch, the lifestyle membership club which has sites in Cheshunt (Hertfordshire) and Seldson (South Croydon), has placed both hotel properties into administration. This has been due to cashflow difficulties and the inability to reinvest in the properties. Birch Cheshunt Birch's 140-room Cheshunt hotel opened in 2020 with backing from Aprirose. Prior to this, the site was known as De Vere Theobalds Estate Hotel.Administrators from Teneo closed the hotel with immediate effect and announced the closure on the properties website.This property has a bakery, fitness studio, screening rooms, 20 event spaces, three bars, a farm and two restaurants led by chef Robin Gill, to its grounds.Since its opening the co-founders of Birch, Chris Penn and Chris King, had left the business.Employees of Birch Cheshunt in particular have taken to social media to share of their shock and distress. They are seeking help with finding work after being made unemployed overnight. If you are an employee of any of these properties in administration, please see our advice guide. Birch Selsdon For Birch Selsdon, the 181-room hotel is still trading but under the control of administrators from the appointed, Moorfields Advisory.Milan Vuceljic, partner at Moorfields, said: "The Birch hotel group had a unique market proposition, which fitted with today's health and wellbeing culture whilst still boasting a Greater London location. We are currently continuing to trade the hotel whilst we explore various options, which we believe provides a good opportunity for potential purchasers."This property has two restaurants ran by chef Lee Westcott along with a pottery studio, wellness space, reading room, arcade and interactive kitchen to its grounds.Ayo Akinsete is the managing director who saw the opening of this site and is now a part of the senior management team newly appointed to oversee both sites. Company Rescues take: ''The first three years of a new business are always the most difficult. The collapse of Birch is not unusual at this stage particularly in the hospitality sector. With so many potential influencing factors, it comes no surprise. The cost of living means less people able to afford going out, especially to higher end luxury locations, such as these.''

Birch Hotel Properties Go Into Administration With Cheshunt Site Closing Immediately

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