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An injunction is a form of urgent and serious remedy by which a person or entity are directly ordered to either refrain from doing a particular act or thing or for them to take certain steps.
Applications for injunctions are inherently expensive, high risk and to a certain extent tactical. In commercial cases, it is common for injunctions to be applied for before formal court proceedings have started. In many cases obtaining an injunction will effectively put an end to a case.
However, if an injunction application is removed or overturned this can have the effect of emboldening the defendant and likely result in a hefty costs order.
It is also worth remembering that whilst injunctions are generally sought to prevent the other party from doing so, it also possible to apply for an injunction order which specifies that the party injuncted must do something – this can be to hand over property or documents or may be to sign a contract or deed if the party s refusing to do so unlawfully and there is urgency involved.
Situations which may be appropriate for applying for an injunction order can include :
As injunction orders, where granted, place severe burdens or restrictions on parties subject to such orders, the burden to satisfy the court to make an order and the duties of the applicant are set high.
As a result, any business considering applying for an injunction needs to ensure it has the right legal advice on the merits, that the lawyers are experienced in applying for injunctions, can act fast, and get all of the necessary paperwork together very quickly . Such applications often involve several or more days of working almost around the clock to get everything ready, and this explains why they tend to be expensive.
With the most serious threats to a business such as fraud, dissipation of assets or possible destruction of evidence, the court is likely to well understand why an application may be being made without notice to the proposed defendant. In other cases, where the threat is not so grave, it may be tactically better to make the application on notice i.e where the other party is made aware of it.
Injunctions, even though made by civil courts will generally have a penal notice attached, indicating to the party served the consequences of ignoring the order or breaching it.
Interim injunctions will always have a return date in the near future where the matter will again come before the court to decide if the injunction should remain in place or be lifted. The claimant will also be expected to issue formal court proceedings related to the underlying legal claim very shortly after an injunction order is made, so that standard legal proceedings to deal with the underlying dispute are progressed.