HomeFWJ takeawayTakeawayFraud and freezing ordersDefending a freezing orderWhat is the purpose of freezing someone’s assets?

Freezing Orders are applied for at court to try and preserve assets and stop them being put beyond the reach of the applicant. However, the rules are strict and expert legal advice is needed to obtain such an order. We can help.

The purpose of “freezing” someone’s assets is to try and prevent them from removing those assets beyond the reach of a potential creditor. This can be a real risk when it is suspected that the defendant has done something wrong or acted in a fraudulent or dishonest manner.

  • the freezing injunction helps protect those assets (and stop them being removed from the jurisdiction) whilst the overall claim / dispute between the parties is deal with at court as part of the normal litigation process;
  • the freezing order is put in place to try and make sure that if the claimant later obtains a judgment against the defendant, there are assets of the defendant left in reach – over that the judgment can be enforced;
  • technically, a freezing injunction or freezing order does not “freeze” the assets and a respondent can still deal with them if he/she decides to. But if the respondent does act in breach of the freezing order, then whilst he/she may remove the assets from the jurisdiction that person can then be sent to prison for contempt of court – ie breaching the terms of the order.

It is therefore a very serious type of order and it takes a very rash (or badly advised) respondent to ignore the terms of the order and remove assets from the jurisdiction.


Freezing orders are complicated legal documents. We highly recommended that you seek legal advice if you have any freezing order related questions. Our friendly team of experts at Francis Wilks & Jones is the county’s leading set of freezing order solicitors and here to help, whatever our situation.

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