On 29th and 30th September 2014, The Sheriffs Office attended Caterham Sports Ltd in Leafield Oxfordshire to enforce a number of judgments on behalf of various creditors who are suppliers to the team.

The enforcement

The judgments were issued in the County Court and were transferred up to the High Court for enforcement by The Sheriffs Office, authorised High Court Enforcement Officers, under a High Court writ of control (known as a writ of fieri facias prior to April 2014).

This was our second visit to their premises; payment had been promised on the first visit, but was not made, hence the return visit. On this second visit our enforcement agents took control of goods at the Leafield site and removed them to secure storage, with the intention of selling them at auction to satisfy the judgment debt, should payment not be forthcoming.

The enforcement agents and the staff on site all believed this matter would be quickly resolved.

The administration

On 20th October, Caterham Sports Limited entered into administration (No: 7424 of 2014). The administrators are Smith & Williamson, 25 Moorgate, London EC2R 6AY.

The appointment of administrators prevents sale of the goods by The Sheriffs Office. As a result, we continue to hold the seized items in secure storage on behalf of the administrator.

Part of the role of an administrator is to determine whether a rescue package can be put together, whether there is a buyer for the business or whether assets need to be realised so as to make some payment to the creditors.

At this stage it remains to be seen whether the administrator will sell any of these items at auction.

Our reaction

On behalf of our clients, we are disappointed that the administration has prevented them from being paid what they were owed at this stage, and hope that they, and the many other unsecured creditors, will receive some payment and that the knock-on effect on their businesses will not result in financial difficulties or redundancies.

We also understand that many of the Caterham Sports employees might also lose their jobs or not be paid in full and we hope that the administrator will be in a position to support them. The staff members at Leafield were extremely helpful during our visit and we would like to thank them for their courtesy during what was clearly a difficult time.

David Carter, Chief Executive of The Sheriffs Office says

“On a personal level, I am from Caterham and have always been a fan of the team, so sincerely hope that a way forward can be found.”

Who are we?

For over 30 years, The Sheriffs Office has been enforcing unpaid court judgments throughout England and Wales. The name derives from the fact that for over 600 years up until 2004 the bailiff’s that enforced High Court writs were known as Sheriff’s Officers. Since 2004 they were renamed High Court Enforcement Officers.

Much of the work we are instructed on is Business to Business debt (B2B) usually where one company hasn't paid for goods or services they have received. The matter must have been through the Courts where one party has sued another and won judgment. 

Update February 2015

The administrator of Caterham Sports Limited has started the processing of selling the assets at auction. Read more details.

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