Historically the process to enforce a Tribunal award has always been cumbersome, with several forms to complete. And once county court warrants were obtained, the success rates on collections were woefully poor.

The new Fast Track scheme, which went live last month (April 2010), introduced a speedier way for Claimants to have their awards enforced. The Ministry of Justice brought in a process that omitted the need for a plethora of forms and introduced a single form called an N471. Not only did this speed up the paperwork but it also allowed the award to be simply transferred to the High Court for enforcement purposes only. This is great news for the Claimant as HCEOs (High Court Enforcement Officers) traditionally have a far superior collection rate than county court bailiffs.

If you need to enforce a Tribunal award, all you need to do is appoint an HCEO to act for you, send them the award and a cheque for £66 for the court fee. The HCEO will then complete the paperwork for you to sign. Alternatively, you can download and complete the N471 yourself and send this with the award and £66 court fee. The HCEO will then obtain the writ on your behalf and commence enforcement.

Should enforcement be successful, the £66 court fee is recovered from the judgment debtor.

Here at The Sheriffs Office, we have already proved that the new process works. We have already enforced our first Fast Track and collected the award in full. Needless to say, the Claimant was extremely pleased to recover their money.

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