Judgment and Appeals

As we near the conclusion of our Top Ten Tips Dispute Series, we arrive at a crucial stage in the legal journey – the judgment and appeal process. In the intricate realm of civil or commercial disputes, understanding the nuances of judgment and the potential for appeal is paramount. This installment explores the pivotal roles of judgment and appeal, shedding light on their significance in shaping the outcome of legal proceedings. Join us as we navigate through the complexities of these processes and uncover essential insights to empower your dispute resolution strategies.


When a claim is issued at court, there is a set structure as to how the claim will progress. The claim will make its way through each of the following phases; Statements of Case, a Costs and Case Management Hearing, Disclosure, Witness Statements, Expert Reports (if necessary), a Pre Trial Review and then a Trial. At the end of a Trial or within a period of time after the Trial, the Trial Judge will give their Judgment. The Judgment is the Judge’s view and opinion of the case and, most importantly, it will set out the reasons for the Judge arriving at their decision.

A Judgment can be given at the end of the trial and is usually made on a verbal basis. Alternatively, a Judge can reserve Judgment and provide it a later date, after the trial has finished. The Judge will set a specific hearing date and time to “hand down” their Judgment. At that hearing, the Judge will read out their Judgment to the court and then provide the parties with a written version.  

Once Judgment has been given, an Order will be made. There is a key difference between a Judgment and an Order. A Judgment is the decision of the Judge about the claim and the Order will give directions as to what the winning and / or losing party must do next. An Order is a procedural document and the directions set out within it can be enforced in the event of a party not complying with them.

In some cases, a Judgment may be made without a trial. This is known as a Summary Judgment and it is where a decision is made on an entire claim or a particular issue within a claim without a trial, usually where there are no prospects of success for the Claimant or Defendant.

You may have heard of a “CCJ” which is otherwise known as a County Court Judgment. These are simply Judgments made in the County Court. These types of Judgments can be given for debt claims or claims for damages or sums of money. In the event of an individual having a “CCJ” made against them, it can prevent that individual from obtaining credit cards, loans and even mortgages. There is a process where “CCJs” can be marked as satisfied however that can only take place once the outstanding debt has been paid in full.


When a Judge provides their Judgment, the parties to the claim are entitled to make an application to revoke, set aside, vary or appeal the Judgment that has been made.

Should a party wish to appeal a Judgment and the subsequent Order that has been made as a result of it, the first step is for the party to make an application for permission to appeal. It is important that you contact your solicitor so that your application is made to the right court within the strict time limits to do this.  The party that is appealing the Judgment is referred to as the Appellant.

When an application is made, the Appellant must set out the grounds upon which they are appealing the Judgment and/or Order in a document called an Appellant’s Notice. The application for permission to appeal has to be made within 21 days of the date of the Judgment being handed down and the Order being made. The Appellant’s Notice is filed at court and the Respondent will have a set period of time in which to make any submissions to the Court as to why it considers that permission to appeal should be refused. All of the documents will then be passed to the relevant Judge to consider.

If a party is unsuccessful with either their permission to appeal application or at the final appeal hearing, the original Judgment will remain the final decision and the terms of the Order will have to be followed. If a party is unsuccessful with their appeal before the Court of Appeal they can apply to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal.

Here are our Top Ten Tips to consider if you are faced with a pending Judgment or Appeal:

1. Understand the Judgment:  Consider the judgment with your legal team in order to understand the court’s findings, orders, and any obligations placed on you or the opposing party. Understanding the judgment is crucial in determining whether to accept it or consider an appeal.

2. Assess Grounds for Appeal: Seek legal advice immediately after Judgment as to whether there are any grounds on which the Judgment could be appealed.  The grounds of appeal are limited to errors of law, procedural irregularities and the emergence of new evidence that was not  available during the original proceedings. Your legal team will help identify the most viable grounds for your specific case.

3. Be Mindful of Time Limits: Timing is critical when it comes to appeals. Generally, you must file a Notice of Appeal within a specific timeframe, usually within 21 days of the court judgment. Failure to adhere to these time limits can jeopardise your right to appeal. Work closely with your solicitor to ensure all necessary documents are filed promptly.

4. Budget for Legal Costs: Appeals involve legal costs so it is crucial to budget accordingly. Discuss potential costs with your solicitor so that you are aware of the likely costs that will be incurred.

5. Prepare for the Appeal Hearing: Work closely with your solicitor to understand the court’s expectations, rules, and procedures. Thorough preparation is key to presenting a compelling case before the appellate court.

6. Evaluate Settlement Offers: Throughout the appeal process, be open to settlement discussions with the opposing party. A negotiated settlement can save time, costs, and the emotional toll of prolonged litigation. Your solicitor can assist in evaluating settlement offers and advising on the potential benefits and risks.

7. Maintain Communication: Effective communication with your solicitor is essential throughout the entire process. Ensure that you are available in the period after the Judgment is handed down.

8. CCJs –If you need assistance with having a CCJ marked as satisfied, contact  Grace Whitford-Wilson as they can be detrimental to funding for your business. 

9. Be Aware of the Process – You may not be automatically entitled to appeal a Judgment and you may have to apply for permission to appeal before you can proceed with the actual appeal.

10. Review Orders– if you have to apply for permission to appeal, the Judge will decide on which grounds you can proceed and on which grounds you are refused permission to appeal. You should carefully review the Order granting permission before proceeding with the appeal.

If you find yourself entangled in a legal dispute or contemplating legal action, seeking expert guidance is crucial. The complexities of judgment and appeal require careful navigation, and having the right support can make all the difference. Reach out to the experienced professionals in our dispute management team to discuss your matter and receive tailored advice on the best course of action.