The number of judgments against businesses has fallen to the lowest level since the financial crash, figures released today reveal.

In the first three months of this year, 21,860 county court judgements were recorded against businesses in England and Wales. This was 17% down from the same period last year. It was the lowest level since the financial crash high of 71,867 in the first quarter of 2009.

According to data collected by the non-profit Registry Trust, the total value of country court judgments was £78m, down 11% from £87m in the first quarter of 2015. The average value increased 6% to £3,554.

However small businesses that were not incorporated generally fared ‘much worse’, with the value and number of claims rising rather than falling.

The number of High Court judgments against businesses also dropped, falling 47% year on year to 16. The total value fell slightly by 2% to £16.5m, with the average value jumping 85% to just over £1m.

Malcolm Hurlston (pictured), chair of the Registry Trust, said there was a ‘stark difference’ this quarter between the performance of companies and smaller enterprises.

But he added that it would be easier to interpret this once information from the VAT Register is made available.

Registry Trust collects judgment information from jurisdictions across the British Isles and Ireland. In England and Wales it runs the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.