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

Navigating UK sanctions against Russian persons in English court proceedings

The UK is one of many countries that have introduced extensive sanctions against Russia, its individuals and entities in light of the ongoing military action in Ukraine. An area where the UK sanctions regime may have significant impact, but which is not often discussed, is the effect on proceedings in the English court involving sanctioned … 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

Fraudulent misrepresentation: High Court considers the requirement for claimants’ “awareness” of implied representations

In the context of an application to strike out or summarily dismiss a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation, the High Court has held that conscious awareness of the alleged implied representation was not necessary for the claim to have a real prospect of success at trial: Crossley & Ors v Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft & Ors [2021] EWHC 3444 … Read more