Mareva injunction


Mareva injunction

The Mareva injunction (variously known also as a freezing order, Mareva order or Mareva regime), in Commonwealth jurisdictions, is a court order which freezes assets so that a defendant to an action cannot dissipate their assets from beyond the jurisdiction of a court so as to frustrate a judgment. It is named for Mareva Compania Naviera SA v International Bulkcarriers SA [1975] 2 Lloyd's Rep 509, decided in 1975, although the first recorded instance of such an order in English jurisprudence was Nippon Yusen Kaisha v Karageorgis in 1975, decided very shortly before the Mareva decision; however, in the UK the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 now define a Mareva order as a "freezing" order. It is widely recognised in other common law jurisdictions and such orders can be made to have world-wide effect. It is variously construed as part of a court's inherent jurisdiction to restrain breaches of its process.

It is not a security (Jackson v Sterling Industries Ltd), nor a means to pressure a judgment debtor (Camdex International Ltd v Bank of Zambia (No. 2)), nor does it confer a proprietary interest in the assets of the judgment debtor (Cretanor Maritime Co Ltd v Irish Marine Management Ltd). However, some authorities have treated the Mareva injunction as an order to stop a judgment debtor from dissipating his assets so as to have the effect of frustrating judgment, rather than the more strenuous test of requiring an intent to abuse court procedure. An example of the former would be paying off a legitimate debt (Iraqi Ministry of Defence v Arcepey Shipping Co SA), whereas an example of the latter would be hiding the assets in overseas banks on receiving notice of the action.

It is recognised as being quite harsh on defendants because the order is often granted at the pre-trial stage in ex parte hearings, based on affidavit evidence alone. A Mareva injunction is often combined with an Anton Piller order in these circumstances. This can be disastrous for a defendant as the cumulative effect of these orders can be to destroy the whole of a business' custom by freezing most of its assets and revealing important information to its competitors.

A freezing order will usually only be made where the claimant can show that there was at least a good arguable case that they would succeed at trial and that the refusal of an injunction would involve a real risk that a judgment or award in their favour would remain unsatisfied (Ninemia Maritime corporation v Trave Schiffahrtgesellschaft m.b.H und Co.K.G [1983] 1 WLR 1412).

Similar provisions are now required to be available in the rest of Europe, under Article 9(2) of the European Union Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, approved in April 2004.

See also



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  • Mareva injunction — a form of injunction named after the case in which it was first granted – Mareva Compania Naviera SA v. International Bulk carriers SA [1975] 2 Lloyd s Rep. 509 – under which the court freezes the assets of a resident or non resident debtor where …   Law dictionary

  • Mareva injunction — /mə rēˈvə in jungkˈshən/ (law) noun A court order freezing assets to prevent them being taken out of a country ORIGIN: After the first company to be granted such an injunction …   Useful english dictionary

  • Mareva injunction — [mə reɪvə, mə ri:və] noun English Law a court order freezing a debtor s assets to prevent them being taken abroad. Origin named after Mareva Compania Naveria S. A., the first plaintiff to be granted such an injunction (1975) …   English new terms dictionary

  • Mareva injunction — See: freezing injunction …   Accounting dictionary

  • Mareva injunction — See freezing injunction …   Big dictionary of business and management

  • injunction — in·junc·tion /in jəŋk shən/ n [Middle French injonction, from Late Latin injunction injunctio, from Latin injungere to enjoin, from in in + jungere to join]: an equitable remedy in the form of a court order compelling a party to do or refrain… …   Law dictionary

  • Mareva — may refer to: A Mareva injunction, a court order to freeze assets Mareva Galanter, a French actress and beauty contestant Mareva, a factory name or vitola de galera for the classical Cuban cigar size Petit Corona This disambiguation page lists… …   Wikipedia

  • Injunction — For restraining or protective orders (family law harassment), see Restraining order. An injunction is an equitable remedy in the form of a court order that requires a party to do or refrain from doing certain acts. A party that fails to comply… …   Wikipedia

  • freezing injunction — A court order preventing a defendant from dealing with specified assets. Such an order will be granted in cases in which the plaintiff can show that there will be a substantial risk that any judgment given against the defendant will be worthless …   Accounting dictionary

  • freezing injunction — An order of the court preventing the defendant from dealing with specified assets. Such an order will be granted in cases in which the plaintiff can show that there will be a substantial risk that any judgement given against the defendant will be …   Big dictionary of business and management


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