HomeFWJ TakeawayResourcesCan freezing orders attach in foreign jurisdictions?

It is possible to obtain freezing orders to extend to a worldwide basis – but they are not easy to get. Our superb team has experience of obtaining, maintaining and defending worldwide freezing injunctions. Let us help you too.

The answer is yes – but an order is hard to get

The English courts have the ability to grant freezing orders to cover assets of a respondent held abroad. Whilst a cautious approach is taken by the courts in such circumstances, the court will, on occasion, exercise its jurisdiction pursuant to Section 25 of the CJJA 1982 where appropriate.

Section 25 of the CJJA 1982

Interim relief in England and Wales and Northern Ireland in the absence of substantive proceedings.

(1) The high court in England and Wales or Northern Ireland shall have power to grant interim relief where—

(a) proceedings have been or are to be commenced in a Brussels Contracting State or a State bound by the Lugano Convention or a Regulation State or a Maintenance Regulation State other than the United Kingdom or in a part of the United Kingdom other than that in which the high court in question exercises jurisdiction; and

(b) they are or will be proceedings whose subject-matter is either within the scope of the Regulation as determined by Article 1 of the Regulation, within the scope of the Maintenance Regulation as determined by Article 1 of that Regulation or within the scope of the Lugano Convention as determined by Article 1 of the Lugano Convention (whether or not the Regulation, the Maintenance Regulation or the Lugano Convention has effect in relation to the proceedings).

(2) On an application for any interim relief under subsection (1) the court may refuse to grant that relief if, in the opinion of the court, the fact that the court has no jurisdiction apart from this section in relation to the subject-matter of the proceedings in question makes it inexpedient for the court to grant it.

(3) Her Majesty may by order in Council extend the power to grant interim relief conferred by subsection (1) so as to make it exercisable in relation to proceedings of any of the following descriptions, namely—

(a) proceedings commenced or to be commenced otherwise than in a Brussels Contracting State or a State bound by the Lugano Convention or Regulation State or a Maintenance Regulation State;

(b) proceedings whose subject-matter is not within the scope of the Regulation as determined by Article 1 of the Regulation, the Maintenance Regulation as determined by Article 1 of that Regulation or the Lugano Convention as determined by Article 1 of the Lugano Convention.

(4) An order in Council under subsection (3)—

(a) may confer power to grant only specified descriptions of interim relief;

(b) may make different provision for different classes of proceedings, for proceedings pending in different countries or courts outside the United Kingdom or in different parts of the United Kingdom, and for other different circumstances; and

(c) may impose conditions or restrictions on the exercise of any power conferred by the order.

(6) Any order in Council under subsection (3) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(7) In this section “interim relief”, in relation to the high court in England and Wales or Northern Ireland, means interim relief of any kind which that court has power to grant in proceedings relating to matters within its jurisdiction, other than—

(a) a warrant for the arrest of property; or

(b) provision for obtaining evidence.


Our expert team of freezing injunction solicitors at Francis Wilks & Jones can help you whatever your enquiry. Whether you are applying for a freezing order or or have received one, we can provide the immediate and expert help you need. Contact one of our team of friendly lawyers now.

Case studies

View all case studies

Contact us in confidence