The freezing injunction (previously known as the “Mareva” injunction) is a Court Order obtained by the claimant, almost always without notice to the intended defendant, restricting a defendant in the use of his assets. It is intended to ensure that the defendant does not dissipate his assets to frustrate the enforcement of any judgment that may be given against him. It will bind third parties within the jurisdiction of the Court who have control of the defendant’s assets provided they have notice of the Order. It is not a claim in itself but rather it is ancillary to the claim made/to be made against the defendant.
If you intend to pursue an action through to judgment, a freezing injunction is an invaluable means of ensuring that there are assets against which any judgment may be enforced. It may also be very useful in provoking an early settlement: the inconvenience to a defendant in having his assets frozen over a prolonged period should not be underestimated. However, if settlement is already in prospect, then a freezing injunction may raise the temperature between the parties so as to eliminate this possibility. Likewise, you should always be aware that the hearings relating to the freezing injunction may ultimately have the effect of pushing back the trial date by a considerable period, which may work to the defendant’s advantage. Freezing injunctions are available to enforce a judgment already obtained.
Freezing injunctions are very draconian in their effect. Therefore, the claimant is invariably required to undertake to the Court to pay damages to the defendant should it transpire that the injunction should not have been granted and this undertaking may sometimes have to be backed with security. The claimant will also have to undertake to pay the costs of third parties, such as banks, in complying with the injunction.
We have extensive experience and expertise in both obtaining (on behalf of the claimants) and resisting (on behalf of defendants) freezing injunctions. We have the ability and commitment to assess the legal merits and the commercial position; draft the necessary documentation; and liaise with counsel (who invariably will be necessary for the advocacy before the judge) extremely quickly and decisively.
It is not possible to provide a general estimate of costs for these types of applications because of the extent to which they will vary according to the nature and size of the claim involved.
We offer the full range of funding options (other than government funding) to include fixed fees, conditional fee arrangements, after the event insurance and third party funding. We also always provide cost estimates as soon as reasonably practicable and remain within those estimates or, where (for good reason) not possible, agree a revised estimate before the previous one is exceeded. This, together with our regular billing policy and transparency on costs, means you retain a degree of control and certainly over your legal spend.