Sometimes, it becomes necessary to ask the court to stop someone doing something at short notice - or to take positive action. It’s about asking the court to enforce your rights against someone who is not cooperative – particularly in the course of debt recovery.
An injunction is an emergency court order forcing a person or a company to do something, or to refrain from doing something. Injunctions are often a commercial necessity (freezing orders and search and seizure orders, for instance).
Getting an Injunction
Injunctions can be obtained at any time, even if proceedings have not yet started. An injunction can also be obtained after a judgment has been given, in order to secure the amount of the judgment.
Injunctions are an emergency remedy which means you must make an application to the Court promptly - but you must be able to satisfy the Court that you are entitled to ‘injunctive relief’. This means it will not grant your application if damages would be an appropriate remedy.
It can be a fine balance: the Court will require you to provide an ‘undertaking in damages’, which means you will be liable to the other party for any losses suffered as a consequence of the injunction if it is later held that the injunction was wrongly granted.
You should take urgent advice from specialist injunction solicitors as early as possible. The dispute resolution team at Selachii will advise whether an application for an injunction is the best remedy for you in which to enforce your rights in the circumstances.
Types of injunction
There are two main types of injunction used in the context of debt recovery:
Mandatory injunctions (the most common type) require an individual or organisation to carry out a specific act, for instance, to deliver up certain documents.
An Anton Piller injunction is a mandatory injunction used to prevent the destruction or removal of evidence. If you suspect the other party (a defendant or potential defendant) in your legal claim is hiding critical information that could be valuable evidence in support of your debt claim, an application for an Anton Piller injunction may be appropriate.
Prohibitory injunctions require the party to refrain from a certain activity. They can, for instance, protect confidential information that has been obtained in a commercial relationship and prevent its disclosure.
Freezing injunctions, for instance, are injunctions prohibiting a party from disposing of or dealing with assets. Freezing orders effective preserve the other party’s assets until a judgment (eg for a debt) can be obtained and satisfied. If you suspect the other party may disperse his assets to frustrate a future judgment in your favour and prevent settling his debt to you, you could apply for a freezing injunction.
If you are facing the prospect of a creditor presenting a winding up petition against your company, you could ask the Court for an injunction to restrain the presentation of the petition. You would, however, need to show sufficient evidence that can dispute the claim (or cross claim or counterclaim).
Failure to comply
If someone fails to comply with the terms of the injunction, both criminal and civil action could follow. A prison sentence could be imposed on conviction, and potential fines. The individual/company could also be charged with contempt of court – an offence treated very seriously by the courts.
We also act for clients seeking to defend applications for injunctions, whether for the preservation and delivery of documents, freezing injunctions or restraining winding up petitions.
What should I do?
If you believe an application for an injunction is necessary; or if you are defending an application, take urgent advice from the experienced injunction and dispute resolution solicitors at Selachii. We will examine the circumstances of your case and advise on the best way to proceed.
How Selachii Can Help
Selachii is a dynamic litigation law firm based in Kensington, London. Our litigation and dispute resolution team is highly experienced in injunctions and debt relief and we put the best interests of our clients at the heart of everything we do. We work with both businesses and private individuals, giving them legal advice and support which is unique to them and their situation.
We don’t believe in simply handing out one-size-fits-all solutions to problems. We will focus on your specific circumstances before working out the best and most cost-effective way of helping you achieve your aims.