Interim injunctions—the American Cyanamid guidelines

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

  • Interim injunctions—the American Cyanamid guidelines
  • Guiding principles for interim injunctions
  • Is there a serious issue to be tried?
  • A ‘serious issue’ in the interim application or the substantive claim?
  • Would damages be an adequate remedy instead?
  • Cross-undertakings as to damages
  • Where does the balance of convenience lie?
  • Are there other special factors?
  • Breach of a negative covenant
  • Irrevocable letters of credit and similar instruments
  • More...

Interim injunctions—the American Cyanamid guidelines

This Practice Note is concerned with substantive interim injunctions, which are a particular species of injunction granted on a temporary basis ahead of trial. As set out below, there are different considerations depending on whether the interim injunction sought is prohibitory or mandatory in nature. For guidance on the nature of injunctions generally and the distinction between prohibitory and mandatory injunctions, see Practice Note: Injunctions—guiding principles and in particular the main section: What are the different types of injunction?

For guidance on interim injunctions specifically concerned with the preservation of assets or evidence, as opposed to the enforcement of a specific legal or equitable right, see:

  1. Freezing injunctions—guiding principles

  2. Proprietary freezing injunctions

  3. Search orders—guiding principles

  4. Interim delivery up orders and preservation of property

Guiding principles for interim injunctions

The power to grant interim injunctions is found in section 37(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 (SCA 1981) and CPR 25.1(1)(a), as set out in Practice Note: Injunctions—guiding principles—The courts’ jurisdiction to grant injunctions. The court may grant an interim injunction provided that it is ‘just and convenient’ to do so. This discretion is clearly very wide, but the courts have provided guidelines as to how this discretion should ordinarily be exercised in interim injunction applications.

The court’s primary objective is to follow the course which presents the lowest risk of irremediable prejudice if, after

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