- Contempt proceedings permitted for defendants and freezing order breaches abroad (Star Reefers v JFC)
- Practical implications
- Court details
- Freezing Order
- Costs of the freezing order and other associated applications
The Commercial Court has allowed a claimant to bring and serve contempt proceedings against defendants who reside out of the jurisdiction and who allegedly committed the breaches abroad. In reaching its decision, the court considered that it could not be that any jurisdiction under RSC Order 45 against a company could be rendered nugatory by not being able to pursue those who were responsible for the breach because they were and had committed the alleged breach outside the jurisdiction. In doing so, the court looked at, among other things, whether each of the individuals was a de jure or de facto director or officer with control at times when compliance with the freezing order was required and had personal knowledge of the terms of the freezing order they were alleged to be in breach of. Practitioners should note that this application was made under the old RSC Order 45 rules which have been replaced by CPR 81 since 1 October 2012. The court also considered whether it was appropriate to continue the freezing order and, if so, on what terms, including in relation to the defendant’s right to claim privilege against self-incrimination. It also made a summary assessment of costs even though the bill far exceeded the £100,000 guideline set out in the Commercial Court guide.
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