Our Commercial Litigation Solicitors Successfully Represent a Client with a Freezing Order Over a Potentially Ruinous £5 million Claim
Our Client takes up the story: “My wife and I were shocked and frankly terrified to be personally served, out of the blue, with 12 inches of High Court proceedings comprising a Claim Form, evidence, and a Freezing Order that froze all of our personal assets, pending the determination of the claims against us (or until further Court Order). The claims sought from us the eye watering sum of over £5m, plus interest plus costs. We needed some commercial litigation solicitors to represent us.
The papers revealed that the catalyst for the claims was the conduct of our business partner about which we knew little, until we read the papers served on us. Nevertheless, the Claimant had lumped our positions together and treated us all as being equally culpable.”
What Could We Do? We had to act quickly.
“The papers served on us, just before Christmas, revealed that the proceedings and the Freezing Injunction were to come back before the High Court for further consideration within a matter of days after the New Year return to work (‘the Return Date’).
The Freezing Order imposed obligations on each of us to swear Affidavits, detailing the extent of our personal assets, before that next hearing. We thus had to act quickly, to avoid being in breach of the Freezing Order with the penal consequences (to include the prospect of imprisonment) that could flow from any such breaches.”
The First Solicitor They Saw Was Not a Specialist in this Area
“I saw a Solicitor local to where we lived. It quickly became apparent that he was out of his depth and was unfamiliar with this type of problem. We needed specialist advice from Solicitors well used to dealing with such matters.”
They Were Then Recommended to us at NDP
“Neil Davies and Andrew Wylde, commercial litigation solicitors from NDP were recommended to me. It soon became clear that they knew not only how to deal with the requirements of the Freezing Order but also with the complex legal issues that arose out of the litigation claims made in the proceedings. On meeting them, I was immediately reassured by their knowledge, calmness and proactive approach.
Neil and Andrew explained that they had significant experience of applying for, and defending, Freezing Orders. That soon became apparent from their work and our discussions. They were accessible when I needed to talk about these stressful matters, often outside of office hours when my wife and I were sat at home chewing the cud. That was a massive help.
Neil and Andrew explained and discussed all of my options with me and the timescales, risk and legal cost involved in each of those options.”
Could the Freezing Order be Challenged?
Our advice was that the cost and risk of challenging the freezing order was prohibitive. But, we were able to negotiate to take some of the sting out of the litigation.
“Andrew went through the Claimant’s evidence with me on a line by line basis. His approach and his advice were very clear and straightforward. It soon became apparent to me that whilst it was open to me, as an option, to challenge the obtaining and/or the continuation of the Freezing Injunction (which Order had been granted without notice to me and in my absence), the cost and risk involved in that exercise was prohibitive.
NDP made very early contact with the Claimant’s Solicitors and established a dialogue with them. That took some of the sting out of the litigation. NDP negotiated with them (as envisaged by the Freezing Order) a payment from the frozen assets, to pay my legal bills.”
The Injunction Return Date – We Successfully Oppose an Additional 6 Figure Claim
“NDP organised for me to be represented at that second hearing by a very experienced Barrister. Andrew and Richard Shepherd (a Trainee Solicitor with NDP) came along to Court in London with me. Their support on the day was very welcome, as there was in the Courtroom a small army of opposing lawyers and their clients.
I was faced at that hearing with an unexpected claim from the Claimant’s QC, seeking a large six figure costs award against me, that he invited the Court to order, there and then. NDP’s instructed Barrister was excellent and successfully opposed that claim after a legal fight on the issue in Court on that day.”
The Settlement – A Successful Outcome for Our Client
“The legal proceedings if successful would have resulted in financial ruin for me and my wife. The cost of my defending the High Court proceedings was prohibitive. On NDP’s advice, we met with the Claimant’s Solicitors for full and frank discussions.
They resulted in the settlement of the claims against my wife and I, on purely commercial and confidential terms, that will allow my wife and I to get on with our business and family life, free of these claims. All of that within a month of our being served with proceedings seeking £5m plus.
To have contested the claims would have tied my wife and I up in lengthy commercial litigation, cost and worry for a very long time, with all of the uncertainty that went with that. Against a very well-resourced opponent, that option had little attraction to us.
I am relieved and delighted by this very quick outcome, that I was able to achieve because of Andrew and Neil’s prompt, spot on and decisive action and sound commercial advice.”
Contact our Commercial Litigation Solicitors
Contact our commercial litigation solicitors or call us on 0121 200 7040 for an initial free of charge consultation if you find yourself in a similar position with a freezing order as our clients did here. The earlier you contact us, the quicker we can get to work and the more we can do to help.