Supporting foreign proceedings
Are you pursuing a claim where the defendant’s assets are located
around the world? Is it likely that the defendant will destroy
documents and/or dissipate assets to frustrate your claim and its
enforcement? If so, we can help you pursue the claim by preserving
assets across the globe, and at the same time provide you with a
crucial tactical advantage.
The English Court has an over-reaching power to assist legal
proceedings wherever in the world they take place. Section 25 of
the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 allows it to make
interim orders in support of and immediately prior to commencement
of proceedings overseas. These interim orders include worldwide
freezing orders, asset disclosure orders, search and seizure
orders, and orders for delivery up of passports.
A claimant can apply to the English Court for these orders at
the outset of a claim, without giving notice to the intended
defendant of the main claim in the home jurisdiction. The draconian
nature of these orders, coupled with the element of surprise which
is generated by their service, means that a claimant can gain an
important tactical advantage over a defendant at the outset, which
may precipitate an early settlement.
With co-ordinated action, we can freeze assets in multiple
jurisdictions simultaneously. Defendants can be forced to give
sworn evidence as to the locations of documents and assets, and
ordered to deliver up their passports until they comply, with the
threat of imprisonment if they don’t comply.
The relatively low threshold for a successful section 25
application gives a claimant in any jurisdiction worldwide access
to some of the strongest weapons in the English Court’s arsenal.
The wide scope of section 25, particularly the availability of
worldwide freezing orders, allows a claimant with a
multi-jurisdictional claim to launch a co-ordinated and effective
first strike against a defendant, which grabs the initiative and
gives the best possible support to the proceedings in the home