Service in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland by Private Process Server
- Slightly less expensive than silver service
- Similar timescale to silver service
- Increased risk of challenge to validity of service
There are competing views amongst American lawyers and courts as to whether service abroad via a foreign process server (alone) is permitted under US law. We know that some attorneys will routinely challenge any method of service that is not via the Central Authority or involving a UK Solicitor, whilst others, holding the contrary view, are perfectly prepared to instruct Across the Pond to serve documents without Solicitor involvement.
However, the England and Wales Central Authority, and that of the Republic of Ireland, have made it clear that a private process server is not a competent person for the purposes of Article 10. Furthermore, anyone seeking service in the UK should note the mandatory character of the Hague Service Convention in the US (see the landmark US Supreme Court ruling in Volkswagenwerk AG v Schlunk, 486 US 694 (1988)). There is a real risk of challenge to the validity of service when US process is served in the UK without, at the very least, the instruction coming through a British lawyer – and that challenge is likely to succeed.
But experience has shown us that there are circumstances when that risk is unimportant. So, for our bronze service we can accept instructions to serve from anyone, providing the risk of later legal challenge is understood and accepted. You simply instruct us and we serve. There are no other considerations or complications, it is just as if you were organising service in your next door state.
We have developed a network of tried and tested process servers covering the whole of the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, and the Republic of Ireland, able and willing to take on the special requirements of serving transatlantic process. We are rare amongst British process serving firms, if not unique, in doing nothing else.
The procedure results in a proof of service in the usual layout of the court from whence the process originated, which can be sworn if required.
Particular methods of service
For bronze serves we recommend service by a method “prescribed by the internal law” of the country where service is being effected, but if required we can serve in any other way you instruct.
Since we know that rules can differ significantly from court to court, if you want an alternative method adopted please do not rely on us to know your rules – be thorough in explaining just what we should and should not do for you in effecting service. Your instructions should at least cover the following issues:
- Personal only, or substituted service allowed
- Rules for corporate service
- Rules and conditions for substituted service
- Mailing an extra set of papers
- Asking about being in the US military
- Asking about marital status
- Description of recipient
- Time limits
- Sunday service
- Serving original, or a copy, if both are sent
Please contact us with full details for advice and a specific quotation.