Freezing orders (Mareva)—family proceedings
Produced in partnership with David Salter of Mills & Reeve
Freezing orders (Mareva)—family proceedings

The following Family guidance note Produced in partnership with David Salter of Mills & Reeve 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

A freezing order (formerly termed a Mareva injunction or order) is an interim injunction restraining a party from disposing or dealing with assets.

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).

Mostyn J also handed down a draft precedent freezing order for use in similar cases, which has now 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

See also Practice Note: Applications to restrain future dealing—MCA 1973, s 37 and Procedural guide—application for a freezing order—family proceedings.

FPR 2010 requirements

The Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, Pt 20 sets out the requirements for an application for a freezing order (injunction). In UL v BK, Mostyn J indicated that he did not consider that there was any real difference between the test applied on