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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Thank you. There is no specific time limit in which you must take action to set aside a default judgment but civil procedure rule 13.2(2) provides that "In considering whether to set aside or vary a judgment entered under Part 12, the matters to which the court must have regard include whether the person seeking to set aside the judgment made an application to do so promptly."
My fear would be that the very long delay is likely to render any applicatin to set aside the judgment vunerable unless you can show that due to ill health you were unable to consider the evidence until now. Medical evidence in this respect is likely to be key. If you consider that you can show by reference to medical evidence that you could not reasonably have made the application sooner you may have a chance of a successful application. If you cannot then you application may struggle.
The fee for an application to set aside is £121 so you could take the view that you are willing to pay that fee to find out but without the above evidence you will likely need to be very lucky with the judge that reviews your application. Besides the above medical evidence you would also need to show evidence as to why the original claim is not sound. You do not need to prove it had no merit, just show that you have a reasonable propet of successfully defending the claim if you were allowed to do so.
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The only approach would be to have the judgement set aside and reset to the pre hearing stage. The other alternative would be to appeal the judgement and you are unquestionably out of time in this regard I regret. It is not possible to start a fresh claim on the basis of new evidence for a matter which has already been decided by the courts. The set aside application is likely to be your best approach though as above this could be difficult at this stage given the period of time that has elapsed.
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?