Process server leads campaign for national register

A leading process server has launched a campaign to set up a national register of fellow process servers to help lawyers avoid incompetent and unscrupulous practitioners.

Mark Wingrove, who manages 27 process servers who deliver legal documents such as writs, court summonses and injunctions is trying to enlist support and feedback from the profession for his plan to set up a database of registered process servers.

Wingrove said that lawyers rely solely on word of mouth in determining reliability when hiring process servers.

Valuable time can be wasted and cases lost when documents are served incorrectly, for example, after time or during bank holidays.

Wingrove's plan is to register process servers in England and Wales on a central database. Participants would be issued with identification cards and infringement of the register's code would result in the process server being removed from the register.

He claims the job is often treated as a sideline by companies of private investigators, and that many who accept process serving work are either unaware of the court rules involved or do not take the job seriously.

Wingrove, a former salesman for a private investigation company, claims he has received threatening phone calls from other private investigation companies as a result of his campaign. He said he wanted regulation because process servers acted as officers of the court when accepting the work yet were 'the weakest point in the legal system'.