Lux Locations Ltd (Appellant) v Yida Zhang (Respondent) (Antigua and Barbuda)
Case ID: JCPC 2022/0010
Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Antigua & Barbuda)
Is a judgment in default an appealable judicial order or an administrative decision that cannot be appealed? In a case of judgment in default, should the court examine the claim’s merits in determining the appropriate relief?
In 2014, Lux Locations brought proceedings against Mr Yida for damages for breach of an agency agreement. In 2017, the parties signed a consent order under which Mr Yida was required to pay Lux Locations US$3 million plus interest and costs. Mr Yida paid Lux Locations US$705,555.89, but no more.
Subsequently, in 2018 Mr Yida filed a claim seeking to set aside the consent order. Lux Locations failed to file a defence within the required time and Mr Yida made a request for judgment in default. In March 2019, Lux Locations filed its defence together with an application seeking an extension of time for filing it. Lux Locations also filed an application seeking to strike out Mr Yida’s claim. In March 2020, the High Court dismissed Lux Locations’ applications and granted Mr Yida judgment in default. The judge ordered that the 2017 consent order be set aside and that all monies paid to Lux Locations be repaid.
Lux Locations sought and was granted leave to appeal. Mr Yida applied to strike out the appeal. The Court of Appeal struck out the appeal on the grounds that a default judgment was an administrative order and not a judicial order and, as such, could not be appealed in the same way as a judgment or order of the High Court. The proper route to challenging a default judgment was to seek to set it aside in accordance with the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Civil Procedure Rules 2000. There had been no jurisdiction for the court to grant Lux Locations leave to appeal, and so the appeal was a nullity. Lux Locations appeals that decision.
Lux Locations Ltd
Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Leggatt, Lord Stephens, Lady Rose, Lord Richards
Hearing start date
5 December 2022
Hearing finish date
5 December 2022
31 January 2023
 UKPC 3