News and Events

Can you really be served with legal papers via WhatsApp?

  • Posted

In recent days we were contacted by a potential client asking us the seemingly rather strange question – “can you really be served with legal papers via WhatsApp?”

The simplified answer, surprisingly (or maybe not in today’s ever changing legal and technological landscape), was yes. One should not of course expect this method of service to become the norm, but where there are potential issues in notifying a difficult defendant or where – as in the case of our enquirer – it was an “out of the jurisdiction” service: it is getting used more frequently.

An Order supporting the alternative service needs firstly to be obtained allowing for the service.

One such high profile example is detailed in the link below.

Gray v Hurley [2019] EWHC 1636 (QB) (25 June 2019) (

Turning now back to our recent enquirer, and the “service” to him of a legal Action originating out of the District Court of Paphos in Cyprus. The initial attempt to serve the enquirer with the Writ of Summons from the Cyprus Court failed due to it being served to his old address in the UK. This address was held on file by the Bank in Cyprus and was the address listed on his housing loan with the Bank. The client however, in recent years, had moved home in the UK, and had not informed his Bank in Cyprus of his new address.

The Bank in Cyprus therefore, in an attempt to find an alternative way of service, noted in their files the client had previously provided to the Bank his mobile number and an email – as part of the original Mortgage application process. Under these circumstances, and due to the initial failed attempt, the Bank believed it was impossible for them to serve the Action to the client in any manner other than via substitute service in the WhatsApp application or via email.

An Order was therefore sought from the Court in Cyprus, it was obtained, and accordingly the service to him was effective through WhatsApp.

We have now been instructed by the client to respond to the Action in Cyprus.

In the specific example above which related to a problematic property purchase in Cyprus it may well be the case that all clients who have defaulted on a foreign mortgage should now be alert to these new tactics and methods being employed by their foreign Banks to notify them.

If you have received a letter, WhatsApp message or a Writ of Summons from your foreign Bank, or have fears you may soon receive one, or would simply like more information on our fixed fee approach a member of our team will be happy to take your call on a confidential basis at 01438 840258 or via email to

Getting in touch will allow us to understand your individual circumstances and discuss with you your concerns and objectives. Working with you we can then decide upon the correct strategy to approach and find the solution which is right for you.

We have been helping individuals to find the correct solution with regards to their problematic foreign property mortgages for well over a decade. Over the years our team of experts have acquired the knowledge, skills, and experience in finding the optimum solutions for our clients.

We have successfully negotiated over £40million of foreign Bank debt being written off for our clients. So, if you are facing problems with your foreign mortgage our specialist Solicitors can help you explore your options.