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Fraud: Freezing orders

10 July 2018 | 2 minute watch

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Fraud: Freezing orders
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Fraud: Freezing orders

Note: We have provided a transcript of the discussion in this video if you are unable to watch the video version. This transcript is generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers and may contain errors.

Stephen Ross (00:05 -  2:06): This is a two minute guide to worldwide freezing orders, one of the most powerful weapons of the English courts. Worldwide freezing orders freeze all of someone's assets wherever they're located in the world, even if held by banks or other third parties. Your opponent cannot dispose of, deal with, or dissipateany of those assets until there's a judgment orthey pay up a sum into court. However, they are given a modestsum for living or legal expenses. In addition, your opponent has to prepare a list of all their worldwide assets worth over a specific value and provide this to you in a short period of time, often 14 days.

If your opponent breaches the order by dealing with their assets or lying about them, they'll be in contempt and may go to jail. So how do you get one of these?Speed and surprise is the order of the day. Delay will count against you. You do not have to give your opponent any notice of the court hearing, and only your lawyers will appear before the judge. This is for the rather obvious reason that if your opponent got wind of what you are doing, they might dispose of or move their assets, and you might spend the next decade chasing them around various offshore jurisdictions.

However, because you're appearing without notice, there are some high hurdles to get over. To obtain an order, you need to show the judge that you have a good arguable case and an underlying legal cause of action, that the English court has jurisdiction evidence of your opponent's assets, and that there's a real risk of dissipation or hiding assets, that it's proportionate to grant the injunction. And you also have to provide an undertaking to thecourt to pay any damages suffered by your opponent as a result of the freezing order being made. If it turns out later that you shouldn't have been allowed one in the first place, you must also be frank with the judge about the strengths and weaknesses of your case and the objections your opponent might raise. These are Draconian orders, and your conduct must be exemplary. If you can satisfy these requirements, you may be able to obtain one of the most powerful civil court weapons anywhere in the world and give yourself the best chance of recovering money from the fraudster.

Worldwide freezing orders are one of the most powerful weapons of the English Courts. But how do you get one and what will it do?

Stephen Ross explains how you can give yourself the best chance of recovering your money or assets from a fraudster.

To see more videos in this series, click here.

Note: We have provided a transcript of the discussion in this video if you are unable to watch the video version. This transcript is generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers and may contain errors.

Stephen Ross (00:05 -  2:06): This is a two minute guide to worldwide freezing orders, one of the most powerful weapons of the English courts. Worldwide freezing orders freeze all of someone's assets wherever they're located in the world, even if held by banks or other third parties. Your opponent cannot dispose of, deal with, or dissipateany of those assets until there's a judgment orthey pay up a sum into court. However, they are given a modestsum for living or legal expenses. In addition, your opponent has to prepare a list of all their worldwide assets worth over a specific value and provide this to you in a short period of time, often 14 days.

If your opponent breaches the order by dealing with their assets or lying about them, they'll be in contempt and may go to jail. So how do you get one of these?Speed and surprise is the order of the day. Delay will count against you. You do not have to give your opponent any notice of the court hearing, and only your lawyers will appear before the judge. This is for the rather obvious reason that if your opponent got wind of what you are doing, they might dispose of or move their assets, and you might spend the next decade chasing them around various offshore jurisdictions.

However, because you're appearing without notice, there are some high hurdles to get over. To obtain an order, you need to show the judge that you have a good arguable case and an underlying legal cause of action, that the English court has jurisdiction evidence of your opponent's assets, and that there's a real risk of dissipation or hiding assets, that it's proportionate to grant the injunction. And you also have to provide an undertaking to thecourt to pay any damages suffered by your opponent as a result of the freezing order being made. If it turns out later that you shouldn't have been allowed one in the first place, you must also be frank with the judge about the strengths and weaknesses of your case and the objections your opponent might raise. These are Draconian orders, and your conduct must be exemplary. If you can satisfy these requirements, you may be able to obtain one of the most powerful civil court weapons anywhere in the world and give yourself the best chance of recovering money from the fraudster.

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.

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