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

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

Court of Appeal clarifies whether a fledgling business can be pursued when a freezing injunction has been ordered

In the recent case of Orange Grape Spirit Limited v Nueva IQT [2020] EWHC 1837 (Ch), the Court of Appeal has clarified that, in the absence of an established pattern of trading, expenditure pursuing a fledgling business is unlikely to fall within the “ordinary and proper course of business” exception to freezing injunctions. The court can however … Read more

High Court admits evidence of ‘without prejudice’ discussions to prove threat of dissipation of assets

The High Court has held that evidence of statements made in “without prejudice” settlement discussions should be admitted in support of an application for a freezing order. The respondents’ threat – to move assets and structure its affairs to frustrate the applicants’ enforcement of a US judgment – fell within the narrow “unambiguous impropriety” exception … Read more

Court of Appeal considers whether “ordinary and proper course of business” undertaking prevents financing ICSID case and funding extradition defence of company director

The Court of Appeal has overturned two High Court orders that a mining company’s proposed payments to fund litigation by related parties were not permitted under the company’s undertaking not to dispose of or deal with its funds “other than in the ordinary and proper course of its business”: Koza Ltd v Akcil & Ors … Read more

Upcoming webinars: freezing orders, class actions and contracts

Over the next few weeks we will be delivering a number of disputes-related webinars for Herbert Smith Freehills clients and contacts, including on: what to do when you’ve been given notice of a freezing order; the increasing risk of class actions in the UK; and how to know when you have a binding contract. In relation … Read more