HomeFWJ TakeawayFraud and freezing ordersDefending a freezing orderThe procedure to vary the terms of a freezing order

It is possible for a defendant to challenge a freezing injunction – either get it dismissed or have the terms varied. Our experts have been helping individuals, companies and financiers with these complex applications since 2002. Let us help you too.

If a respondent wants to apply to vary or amend the terms of a freezing order it has received, this can be done as follows:

  • drafting an application notice;
  • drafting a detailed affidavit (witness statement) setting out specifically the grounds upon which the respondent seeks to rely upon in terms of the proposed variation of the freezing injunction including the reasons for the proposed amended terms.
  • the application notice will need to be issued at court and a date will be provided to all parties by the court at which the application will be heard. It is important when considering the extent of the variation to consider the time estimate appropriate, as this will ensure that the respondent obtains sufficient time at court to have the variation application heard. Bearing in mind it is likely that the applicant, when served with an application to vary the terms of a freezing order, may itself serve evidence in response and as such, sufficient time must be set aside by the court to hear both of the parties’ representations.

As part of the Application, a respondent will require the services of a barrister to represent it at the hearing and prior to the hearing. The barrister will prepare what is called a skeleton argument which will need to be filed at court, commonly the day before the hearing. The applicant’s solicitors will need to select an appropriate barrister with the appropriate expertise, sufficient experience and who is able to work within the applicant’s financial constraints. The solicitors will have to draft a comprehensive brief (instructions) bringing the barrister up-to-speed on all background matters and providing copies of all statements made in the proceedings and any other documents which may be relevant to the barrister’s role. The barrister is generally referred to as “Counsel”.

 A skeleton argument is a document prepared by Counsel setting out both the factual and legal aspects of the Application and it is provided for the benefit of the judge hearing the Application to quickly get him/her up to speed with the documentation which has been served. It is vitally important that the skeleton argument is prepared properly, as a well prepared skeleton argument will be critical to the extent to which a judge is brought fully up to speed prior to the application being heard.

Our expert team of freezing injunction solicitors at Francis Wilks & Jones can help you with varying or amending the terms of a court order. Contact one of our team today for assistance.

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