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14 January 2021
Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments at common law
Did the foreign court have jurisdiction?
Final, interim or interlocutory?
Contrary to Cayman public policy?
Enforcement and execution
Ensuring the effective enforcement of judgments is a crucial aspect of a successful litigation strategy. The Cayman Islands recognises that valid decisions made elsewhere should be as enforceable as domestic judgments. While the statutory regime for registration and enforcement has been extended to only some of the superior courts of Australia and its external territories, the Cayman courts are willing to consider extending assistance to all judgment creditors through the well-trodden common law route.
Additionally, rather than merely seeking recognition of a monetary judgment, a plaintiff may wish to consider direct recourse to insolvency proceedings or the holder of a non-monetary judgment may consider relief in aid of those foreign proceedings.
This article outlines the common law route for recognition and enforcement.
Unless obtained from that handful of Australian courts, a successful foreign plaintiff must bring a new action in the Financial Services Division of the Grand Court against the defendant if it wishes to have the judgment recognised and enforced in the Cayman Islands. Initially limited to monetary judgments that create a debt obligation between the parties, the Grand Court now accepts that it should recognise non-monetary judgments where the principle of comity applies.
The Grand Court may enter a domestic judgment of a valid foreign judgment if it:
The Grand Court must be satisfied that the foreign court had proper jurisdiction according to Cayman conflicts principles. In the Cayman Islands, this will be the case if the defendant:
Whether a judgment is final, interim or interlocutory will depend on its nature. A decision will ordinarily be regarded as final and conclusive even if it is under appeal or an appeal is pending in the foreign court. However, the Grand Court has unfettered discretion and will decide each case on its merits.
The Grand Court will not enforce a foreign judgment which is contrary to public policy. Examples include:
If the Grand Court gives judgment in favour of the plaintiff, said judgment may be enforced in the same manner as a domestic judgment. For a monetary judgment, this includes:
For further information on this topic please contact William Jones or Deborah Barker Roye at Ogier's Grand Cayman office by telephone (+1 345 949 9876) or email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). Alternatively, contact Jeremy Snead at Ogier's London office by telephone (+44 1481 752301) or email (email@example.com). The Ogier website can be accessed at www.ogier.com.
The materials contained on this website are for general information purposes only and are subject to the disclaimer.
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