Commercial injunctions

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Solicitors for commercial injunctions

 What is a commercial injunction? 

We can help with :-

  • Advising on whether to apply for an injunction
  • Help with obtaining the right evidence to apply
  • Review of injunction applications and undertakings
  • Obtaining asset freezing court orders
  • Mapping out risk, costs and litigation steps to minimise risk
  • Defending injunction applications and advising on getting an injunction set aside
  • Advising on enforcement of post- termination restrictive covenants such as non compete and non poaching of customers, clients and staff.
  • 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.

 In what type of claims can an injunction be applied for? 

Situations which may be appropriate for applying for an injunction can include :

  • where there is a serious and imminent danger to your business and where you have a strong claim on the legal merits
  • copyright, patent, trademark, passing off claims
  • shareholder disputes
  • freezing orders served on banks and other financial institutions, possibly in fraud and other cases where there is risk that funds which are the subject of the dispute may be dissipated;
  • search and Seizure Orders relating to computers, documents and information because there is an urgent worry that vital evidence will be copied or destroyed and evidence needs to be preserved
  • restraining the publication of possibly defamatory comments;
  • restraining the wrongful use of confidential information and trade secrets;
  • to prevent breaches of employment law restrictive covenants;
  • breach of confidence claims.
  • property related injunctions to prevent the sale of a property

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.

 The most important points to note are :- 

  • it will be necessary to demonstrate real urgency and threat to the applicants legitimate legal rights and business interests
  • an undertaking will be required to meet the costs of the opponent if it transpires that the applicant should not have been granted the order
  • the applicant must make full disclosure of all material facts and evidence when applying, not just the facts which support the application.

 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.

Penal notice & return date

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.

If you need legal advice on a commercial injunction, please do get in touch.