injunctions & freezing orders
If you are in dispute with someone who is acting in a way that could cause you irreparable harm, then you may be able to apply to the court for an injunction to control their behaviour until the dispute is resolved. For example, if someone is posting malicious things about you online which could ruin your reputation, an injunction could be used to stop this while you pursue a claim against them for libel.
You may also be able to apply for an injunction where you require urgent access to documents in connection with a dispute that are in someone else’s possession and which they are refusing to disclose; or where you want to prevent someone who owes you money from trying to dispose of their assets in a deliberate attempt to avoid their liabilities or to evade your debt collection efforts.
When might an injunction be useful?
Injunctions can be helpful in cases involving:
- property disputes – e.g. where your neighbour is carrying out building works which are threatening the structural stability of your home or which are encroaching onto your land;
- right of way and access disputes – e.g. where someone is routinely using a path or driveway that belongs to you and over which they have no legal rights;
- trespassing claims – e.g. where someone is in occupation of your land or property without consent and they are unlawfully refusing to leave or to allow you access;
- requests for the return of goods – e.g. where someone is in possession of property that belongs to you and they are refusing to give it back;
- harassment claims – e.g. where someone is acting towards you in a threatening, abusive or insulting manner and this is causing you distress or making you fear for your safety;
- libel and defamation claims – e.g. where someone is printing or saying untrue things about you and this is causing you serious harm or to feel alarmed;
- company disputes – e.g. where you are a shareholder in a private business and you have fallen out with other investors who are now trying to exclude you from management decisions; and
- with a residential property and they are refusing to hand over relevant documents.
How injunctions work
An injunction is a special type of court order, which can either be used to compel a person to do something or to prevent them from taking certain steps. This can be incredibly useful where you are faced with a situation that needs to be dealt with immediately to prevent irreversible damage, and where simply awarding you compensation further down the line, when the underlying dispute is finally resolved, will not be enough to make up for the harm that is being caused.
Injunctions are highly effective because anyone who ignores an injunction will be in contempt of court and therefore at risk of being fined, imprisoned or having their assets seized.
How we can help
Our dispute resolution and litigation team is highly experienced in injunction work and has an excellent track record in obtaining injunctions for clients who need them, and also in resisting applications for injunctions for those who feel they are being unfairly and unjustifiably targeted.
We can support you to make or defend an application for:
- a mandatory injunction, which compels specific action to be taken;
- a prohibitory injunction, which prevents certain things from being done; and
- a domestic or worldwide freezing injunction, which prevents the disposal of money, property or other assets either here in the UK, within the EU or anywhere else abroad.
We can also help where you are on the receiving end of an application for an injunction made by your existing or former employer. For example, an application for a springboard injunction to prevent the use of confidential information that you are alleged to have stolen, or a targeted injunction to stop you acting in breach of a restraint of trade provision or any other type of contractual restrictive covenant.
How do you apply for an injunction?
To obtain an injunction, you need to make an application to the court and this may need to be done quickly i.e. within a matter of hours or days from the problem first arising, as any delay beyond that which is considered reasonable in the circumstances may result in your application being refused. In addition, for an order to be granted, you will need to be able to show that:
- you have a strong case against your opponent in respect of the underlying dispute that has arisen between you;
- the way your opponent is behaving is seriously prejudicing your interests or interfering with your legal rights; and
- an award of compensation alone will not be enough to make up for the significant harm that is being caused, thereby making it appropriate for an injunction to also be granted.
How much does an injunction cost?
The price of an injunction will vary depending on the circumstances, but we will provide you with an estimate before we begin any work, and it will then be for you to decide whether you want to proceed.
However, an important thing to bear in mind with an injunction is that, where you are successful in your application, it may be possible for you to reclaim any fees you have paid from your opponent.
That said, you also need to be aware that you could be ordered to pay their costs if your application fails and you will usually be required to give a cross-undertaking in damages. This is a promise to pay your opponent compensation if they suffer harm as a result of an injunction being made which, it turns out, you should not have actually applied for.
Why choose Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors?
Our dispute resolution and litigation team specialise in injunction work and have an impressive track record in seeking and defending injunctions, both here in the UK and abroad. Our service is fast and efficient, and the prices we charge are highly competitive.
When you come to us for advice, we will tell you quickly whether we think an injunction is appropriate and then either help you to secure one or else support you in pursing an alternative course of action which also protects your interests. We can also help you to resolve the underlying dispute that has arisen – whether that be through negotiation, mediation, arbitration or court proceedings.
To find out more, please call Ken Stangoe, Richard Millard, Trevor Coward or Guy Brooks please call on 01908 692769 or contact us. You may also find it helpful to visit our resource hub, sign up to receive our newsletter or take a look at the testimonials section of our website to see what existing clients think of our service.
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
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 689307Ken 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.
Richard Millard Managing Partner
Construction & Development 01908 689382Richard 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.
Guy Brooks Partner
Dispute Resolution & Litigation 01908 689304Guy 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.
Trevor Coward Partner
Dispute Resolution & Litigation 01908 689311Trevor 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.