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injunctions & freezing orders

Sometimes, when a dispute arises, it is necessary to take immediate action to protect your position.  This might be the case where you are involved in a company or corporate dispute with someone who is unlawfully interfering with your commercial interests, or where you are embroiled in a personal dispute – for example, with a neighbour who is building an extension which threatens the stability of your home or which is unlawfully encroaching onto your land.

In these scenarios, it may be appropriate for you to seek an order from the court that puts an immediate halt on your opponent’s actions and which seeks to preserve the status quo while the underlying dispute between you is determined.

An order of this nature is known as an injunction and is something that we can help you to obtain, and on an emergency basis where needed. To find out more, please call us on 01908 692769 and ask to speak to a member of our highly experienced dispute resolution & litigation team.

How we can assist

 Our specialist lawyers can help you to secure:

  • a mandatory injunction, which compels your opponent to take specified action;
  • a prohibitory injunction, which prevents your opponent from doing certain things;
  • a freezing injunction, which prevents your opponent from disposing of their assets; or
  • a springboard injunction, which can prevent ex-employees using your confidential information.

We can also help you to resist an injunction should you find yourself on the receiving end of an application – for example, in the context of an employment dispute.

How can a mandatory injunction help?

A mandatory injunction may be helpful where your opponent is in possession of confidential or commercially sensitive information, which indisputably belongs to you and which is actively being used without your consent.  It may also be helpful where your opponent is denying you entry to a residential or commercial property over which you have legal rights of access, or where they are in possession of goods which you rightfully own and which they are unlawfully refusing to return.

What can a prohibitory injunction be used for?

A prohibitory injunction can be used to achieve a variety of things, including preventing an anticipated breach of contract which has the potential to cause you serious harm, halting a construction or development project which is causing unlawful interference with your land, stopping the publication of libellous information concerning your business interests or personal affairs, or even preventing the destruction of valuable evidence relating to the current dispute.

When should a freezing order be sought?

You may need to apply for a freezing order where there is evidence to suggest that your opponent may be planning to try to move, dispose or even hide their assets to avoid paying you money or settling a debt.  A freezing order will usually cover your opponent’s bank accounts, along with any property, vehicles, investments and valuable jewellery or art that they own.

You can apply to freeze assets which are located solely within the UK by seeking a domestic order, or which are located abroad by applying for a worldwide order.  Injunctions expert Trevor Coward has extensive experience in securing worldwide freezing orders.

How do you apply for an injunction?

To obtain an injunction, you need to make an application to the court.  This must set out the grounds on which the injunction is sought and demonstrate through evidence that:

  • you have a strong case against your opponent in respect of the dispute that has arisen;
  • your opponent’s behaviour is prejudicing your interests or interfering with your rights; and
  • an award of compensation alone will not adequately make up for the harm that is being caused, thereby making it appropriate for an injunction to also be granted.

How quickly do you need to apply for an injunction?

Injunctions are an equitable remedy, which means that the court has wide discretion when it comes to determining whether an injunction should be granted.  There are many factors that the court will take into account in exercising this discretion, one of which is the speed with which the injunction is sought. Put simply, the quicker you act after discovering that grounds for making an application exist, the more likely it is that an injunction will be granted.

What happens if an injunction is ignored?

Ignoring an injunction, or failing to comply with its terms, amounts to a contempt of court – the punishment for which may take the form of a fine, the seizure of assets or imprisonment. It is a type of order that has real ‘teeth’ and which most people therefore will agree to fully observe.

Does applying for an injunction carry any risks?

Injunctions can be very draconian.  For this reason, when you apply for one you will usually be required to give a cross-undertaking in damages in which you promise that if your opponent suffers harm or inconvenience as a result of the injunction being made – and it turns out that the injunction was not in fact justified – you will pay them fair compensation.

You will also usually be liable to pay your opponent’s legal costs where you make an application for an injunction which is refused, or where an injunction is made but subsequently discharged.

Why choose Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors?

Our experienced dispute resolution solicitors in Milton Keynes can help you to assess whether an injunction should be sought, having regard to the risks involved versus the potential benefits. Where an injunction is justified, we can help you to secure this quickly, and where it is not we can support you in taking other helpful steps – like applying for a document disclosure order instead.

Our expertise in the management and resolution of business-related and personal disputes is acknowledged by The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners law directories, which lists us as a top tier firm and which heaps praise on the capabilities and successes of our team members – which include Trevor Coward, along with Ken StangoeRichard Millard, and Guy Brooks 

To find out more or to make an appointment, please call us now on 01908 692769 or contact us.

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What our clients say:

‘’Trevor Coward of Geoffrey Leaver acted for us in a particularly challenging litigation. His tenacity, sound practical advice and tactical approach to the case secured us a very satisfactory outcome.
‘’He is someone you will be glad to have on board when the going gets tough.”
Alan Mills, Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance

For more information about how we can help, you can read testimonials from our dispute resolution clients


Accreditations

Chambers & Partners 2021 notes the team is well-respected and active on a wide range of contractual claims and commercial disputes, including unfair prejudice claims and fraud-related proceedings.  Local and international clientele comes from a variety of industry sectors, and also includes private individuals and SMEs. One client commends the “proactive, engaging and considerate” nature of the team.

Chambers & Partners 2020  says ‘Well-respected team active on a wide range of contractual claims and commercial disputes, including unfair prejudice claims and fraud-related proceedings.  Local and international clientele comes from a variety of industry sectors, and also includes private individuals and SMEs.’

Legal 500 2020 says ‘Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP’s dispute resolution and litigation practice specialises in commercial property disputes, distribution and agency agreements, debt collection and director, shareholder and partnership disputes. Its work includes dealing with injunctions and freezing orders and work in areas such as insolvency, international trade and  IT and e-commerce. Practice head Kenneth Stangoe, Trevor Coward, Guy Brooks and  Richard Millard are the key contacts’

          

The Dispute Resolution & Litigation Team

  • Ken Stangoe Partner
    Dispute Resolution & Litigation 01908 689307
    Ken is Head of the Department.  He has over 20 years' experience as a commercial litigator, with a heavy focus on property disputes, including forfeiture actions and applications for relief, right of way disputes, rent recovery for commercial landlords, trusts of land, dilapidations claims, boundary disputes, rent and service charge recovery and lease renewal applications.

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  • Richard Millard Managing Partner
    Construction & Development 01908 689382
    Richard has over 20 years’ experience acting for clients in the construction industry,  providing pragmatic advice to developers, contractors, sub-contractors, design and construction professionals, housing associations, smaller builders and homeowners.

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  • Guy Brooks Partner
    Dispute Resolution & Litigation 01908 689304
    Guy has more than 30 years’ experience in the legal profession and headed up the Commercial Litigation department of local firm Fennemores, before joining Geoffrey Leaver as joint head of the Dispute Resolution department in 2006. The Dispute Resolution department have been recognised by Legal 500 UK.

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  • Trevor Coward Partner
    Dispute Resolution & Litigation 01908 689311
    Trevor specialises in the closely connected fields of commercial litigation, partner/director disputes, insolvency, property litigation, and professional negligence. His background is one of broad experience across a wide range of commercial litigation. He is a member of Legal Counsel International, an alliance of lawyers in 17 countries.

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