Injunctions against “Persons Unknown”: The High Court flags uncertain territory

An increasingly important tool available to victims of fraud is the civil court procedure under which an action can be commenced and injunctions obtained against defendants who are identified only as “Persons Unknown”, described only by reference to their conduct in connection with the wrongdoing. Previously used only in niche areas, such orders have recently … Read more

High Court grants freezing injunction in relation to stolen non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

Adding to the run of recent cases involving fraud or theft of cryptoassets, the High Court has granted an order restraining “persons unknown” from dissipating NFTs allegedly stolen from the claimant’s cryptoasset wallet: Lavinia Deborah Osbourne v (1) Persons Unknown (2) Ozone [2022] EWHC 1021 (Comm). (The decision dates from March this year, but the … Read more

Crypto fraud: High Court decision on tracing and enforcing against cryptoassets

The High Court has granted the first third-party debt order in relation to cryptocurrency in an application involving allegations of fraud related to a cryptocurrency initial coin offering.  A third-party debt order (formerly known as a garnishee order) is a method of enforcing a money judgment by recovering sums that are in the hands of … Read more

Knowing receipt: Court of Appeal clarifies the necessary elements

The Court of Appeal has dismissed a knowing receipt claim against a bank for receipt of shares transferred to it in breach of trust, on the basis that the claimant did not have a continuing proprietary interest in the shares: Byers & Ors v The Saudi National Bank [2022] EWCA Civ 43. The decision provides helpful … Read more

Privy Council restatement of the law on freezing and other interim injunctions

In a recent judgment, the Privy Council has delivered a “ground-breaking exposition of the law of injunctions” (in the words of the Master of the Rolls), including a restatement of the test for freezing injunctions.  Although the analysis is technically obiter dicta, it will be highly influential on any English or other common law court … Read more