top of page

Enhancing Cross-Border Judgment Enforcement: The Essential Role of Solicitors and Private Investigators

Janina White

In a significant development for the international legal landscape, the UK government recently confirmed its intention to sign the 2019 Hague Convention on the cross-border enforcement of judgments. Legal experts, echoing the sentiment, emphasize the positive impact this decision will have on businesses, providing a robust and predictable framework for enforcing judgments across borders. As a solicitor and private investigator, I find it crucial to recognize the multifaceted implications of this development and understand how your expertise can play a pivotal role in guiding clients through the complexities of cross-border disputes.

The Significance of the 2019 Hague Convention

The 2019 Hague Convention represents a milestone in international dispute resolution, offering a unified set of rules for the recognition and enforcement of civil and commercial judgments among contracting parties. Unlike its predecessors, this convention boasts a remarkably broad scope, encompassing a diverse range of matters such as employment and consumer disputes. Its implementation is poised to streamline and simplify the process of enforcing UK court rulings abroad and vice versa, marking a significant leap forward in global legal cooperation.

The Role of Solicitors and Private Investigators in Preliminary Investigations

Before embarking on the enforcement journey, a prudent approach involves conducting comprehensive preliminary investigations. As a solicitor or private investigator, your role becomes pivotal in uncovering crucial information about the counterparty's assets. This may involve delving into real estate holdings, financial portfolios, and other relevant assets. Your ability to gather and analyze this information lays the foundation for informed decision-making in the subsequent stages of the enforcement process.

Strategic Decision-Making Based on Asset Types

Different types of assets require different enforcement strategies. Real estate, financial holdings, intellectual property — understanding the nature of the assets at play is essential. As a solicitor or private investigator, your expertise guides clients on the most effective and efficient means of enforcing judgments based on the available assets. This strategic decision-making process ensures that efforts are focused on the avenues most likely to yield successful outcomes.

Addressing Jurisdictional Challenges in a Global Context

Given the global nature of business, disputes often span multiple jurisdictions. With the UK no longer part of the Brussels Recast Regulation and Lugano Convention post-Brexit, navigating jurisdictional complexities becomes a critical aspect of your role. Your understanding of the 2019 Hague Convention, coupled with investigative skills, enables clients to make informed decisions on where to pursue legal action for optimal results. Your role in addressing jurisdictional challenges ensures that clients can navigate the complexities of cross-border disputes with confidence.

Potential Downsides and Safeguards in Cross-Border Enforcement

While the benefits of the 2019 Hague Convention are apparent, it's essential to acknowledge potential downsides. As the legal landscape evolves, your role as a solicitor or private investigator includes providing insights into the risks associated with enforcing judgments under the convention. Safeguards outlined in the convention, such as Article 29 and grounds for refusal in Article 7, offer tools to address concerns related to procedural fairness and the rule of law. Your expertise in assessing and mitigating these risks ensures a balanced and informed approach to cross-border enforcement.


Unified Legal Framework: The 2019 Hague Convention establishes a unified framework for the recognition and enforcement of judgments in cross-border disputes, enhancing legal cooperation on a global scale.

Preliminary Investigations: Solicitors and private investigators play a crucial role in conducting comprehensive preliminary investigations, uncovering information about the counterparty's assets as a foundational step in the enforcement process.

Strategic Decision-Making: Understanding the nuances of different asset types empowers legal professionals to guide clients in strategically choosing the most effective enforcement methods.

Addressing Jurisdictional Challenges: In a global business landscape, solicitors and private investigators navigate jurisdictional complexities, ensuring clients make informed decisions on where to pursue legal action.

Mitigating Risks: Acknowledging potential downsides, legal professionals provide insights into risks associated with cross-border enforcement, utilizing safeguards outlined in the convention to address concerns related to procedural fairness and the rule of law.

Janina is a solicitor registered in England and Wales, and the Republic of Ireland, and a member of the American Bar Association. Her extensive legal expertise spans Corporate Law, Sanctions, and Corporate Governance. Beyond law, Janina is a Chartered Company Secretary and showcases a passion for global cultures, evident in her fluency in eight languages. Advising multinational giants, her unique blend of legal acumen and cultural insight sets her apart, offering readers a rich, global perspective on her subjects. Janina is also a private investigator and a member of the Association of British Investigators and she is actively using the investigative techniques (including the use of the Artificial Intelligence, OSINT and HUMINT)  in her legal work. You can contact Janina by email

bottom of page