Freezing orders (Mareva)—family proceedings
Produced in partnership with David Salter of Deputy High Court judge and Recorder

The following Family practice note produced in partnership with David Salter of Deputy High Court judge and Recorder provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Freezing orders (Mareva)—family proceedings
  • Grounds
  • FPR 2010 requirements
  • Jurisdiction and allocation
  • Assets outside the jurisdiction
  • Without notice applications
  • Form of the order
  • Practice points—freezing orders

Freezing orders (Mareva)—family proceedings

A freezing order (formerly termed a Mareva injunction or order) is an interim injunction restraining a party from disposing or dealing with assets under the inherent jurisdiction of the Family Court under section 37 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 and Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, 20.2. This power is in addition to that conferred by section 37(2)(a) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. See Practice Note: Applications to restrain future dealing—MCA 1973, s 37.

Great care should be taken when dealing with an application to preserve assets. All ill-conceived, badly prepared application or one that does not carefully follow procedure may result in an adverse order for costs (including wasted costs), as emphasised by Mostyn J in UL v BK (Freezing Orders: Safeguards: Standard Examples).

In UL v BK (Freezing Orders: Safeguards: Standard Examples), Mostyn J handed down a draft precedent freezing order for use in similar cases, which has been issued in a revised form as part of the standard orders project. See Precedent: Standard order 3.1—freezing order—family proceedings.


To obtain a freezing order the applicant must show that:

  1. they have a good arguable case

  2. there is clear evidence of unjustified dealing with assets by the respondent, and

  3. there is a real risk of injustice if relief is refused

In addition:

  1. the risk of dissipation must be established by solid

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