Freezing injunctions—introduction
Freezing injunctions—introduction

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Freezing injunctions—introduction
  • What is a freezing injunction?
  • Freezing orders—the requirements
  • Types of freezing orders for assets
  • Effect of a freezing injunction on banks
  • Receivership orders in support of freezing orders
  • Freezing orders and insolvency
  • Breach of a freezing order
  • The Chabra jurisdiction—granting freezing relief against third parties
  • Notification injunctions or notification orders

This Practice Note provides a general introduction to freezing injunctions and should be read, where relevant, in conjunction with the other Practice Notes included in: Freezing injunctions (orders)—overview.

What is a freezing injunction?

A freezing injunction (or freezing order), formerly called a Mareva injunction, is an interim injunction which restrains the defendant from removing their assets from the jurisdiction (ie England and Wales) and/or from dealing with their assets wherever they are located (CPR 25.1(1)(f)). The court's jurisdiction to grant injunctions, including freezing injunctions, is found in section 37 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 (SCA 1981).

The overriding purpose of the court granting a freezing order, sometimes referred to as the 'enforcement principle' (see below), is to ensure that the defendant's assets are preserved so that in the event the claimant obtains judgment against the defendant there are assets available for the claimant to recover damages and costs (JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov).

A freezing injunction does not give the claimant any proprietary interest in the frozen assets, and will not be granted merely to provide quasi-security for a claim that might otherwise prove difficult to enforce because the defendant's assets are in a remote place or likely to prove insufficient over time to meet a judgment (JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov, TTMI Ltd of England v ASM Shipping Ltd