Civil contempt proceedings—confiscation of assets (‘writs of sequestration’)
Produced in partnership with Richard Shepherd of Albion Chambers
Civil contempt proceedings—confiscation of assets (‘writs of sequestration’)

The following Dispute Resolution practice note produced in partnership with Richard Shepherd of Albion Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Civil contempt proceedings—confiscation of assets (‘writs of sequestration’)
  • Confiscation of assets—enforcement or contempt?
  • When should confiscation of assets be sought?
  • Making the contempt application
  • The order must include a penal notice
  • Proceeding against companies and corporations
  • Discharging/purging the contempt

Note: this Practice Note is relevant only to proceedings for contempt of court as considered under CPR 81 in force with effect from 1 October 2020 and all references to CPR 81 in this Practice Note are to this version of CPR 81, unless otherwise stated. For information on the changes to proceedings for contempt of court in force from this date, and the approach to dealing with pre-1 October 2020 case law and contempt applications which straddle the old and new rules, see Practice Note: Civil contempt proceedings—summary of the changes to committal proceedings (CPR 81) in force with effect from 1 October 2020. For information on the pre-1 October 2020 position for proceedings for contempt of court, see: Contempt and committal—overview.

This Practice Note considers the circumstances where a party’s assets can be confiscated (also known as a ‘writ of sequestration’) as a remedy, punishment or coercion as part of contempt proceedings under CPR 81 (also referred to as committal proceedings’). This Practice Note does not address writs of sequestration to enforce a judgment, order or undertaking in a situation where no proceedings for contempt of court are brought—for guidance on this, see Practice Note: Writs of sequestration to enforce a judgment, order or undertaking.

Confiscation of assets—enforcement or contempt?

Note that prior to 1 October 2020, all methods of sequestration (both the ‘contempt’ kind

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