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A Freezing Order is a very serious type of court order. Our legal team has been advising business, financiers and individuals since 2002 on all aspects of freezing injunctions. Let us help you too.

Introduction

A freezing order (or Mareva injunction or freezing injunction) is a type of court order which tries to stop an individual, company or other legal entity from moving assets out of the reach of a potential creditor or claimant.

A freezing order is only granted by the high court in England & Wales and it is true to say that the courts do not grant these lightly. They are often referred to as the “nuclear weapon” of court orders and the courts will only grant them if they are fully satisfied that the evidential and legal requirements have been reached

If you have received a freezing order

If you have a received a freezing order or freezing injunction, it is imperative that you read it carefully and work out what you should be doing and by what date. Ideally you should take immediate legal advice. 

  • the front of the freezing order will have a “penal notice” on it which essentially sets out that the penalty for breaching the terms of the freezing order is imprisonment
  • the freezing order itself will contain detailed provisions within it setting out the value or quantum of assets restrained, often identifying specific assets and/or property covered in the freezing injunction.
  • it will also set out the requirements of the recipient to disclose information and/or documentation, often immediately, and then in a follow up disclosure affidavit. 

A recipient of a freezing order can quickly come unstuck if they fail to comply with its terms. Even an inadvertent breach can be seen as a contempt of court and the ultimate sanction is imprisonment. Immediate legal advice from expert freezing order solicitors is highly recommended. Our team of freezing order experts at Francis Wilks & Jones can help you. 

Obtaining a freezing order at court

If you are seeking to obtain a freezing order, we would again recommend that you take expert legal advice from our freezing injunction solicitors. The strict requirements set out in the Civil Procedure Rules and Practice Directions relating to freezing orders must be followed if you are to have any chance of obtaining this very draconian type of court order. 

  • detailed affidavit/witness evidence is required to support the freezing injunction application and you will then require an expert barrister to attend the freezing injunction hearing on the day (and for all follow up hearings);
  • there are also detailed procedural requirements relating to service of the documentation and following up with a claim and particulars of claim;
  • there are also very important freezing order requirements relating to disclosure and full and frank disclosure of information to the court at the time the order is sought. Failure to comply with any of these can be fatal to a freezing order and can lead to an adverse costs order. 

At Francis Wilks & Jones, whatever your freezing order needs, we have the team to help. We have acted both for recipients of freezing order and those parties looking to obtain freezing order and our expertise in both areas is invaluable when dealing with any type of freezing injunction situation. Don’t hesitate, contact the experts now. 

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