Injunctions are the ultimate weapon in the litigation arsenal, providing a high risk, high reward possible way of striking a fatal blow against a potential opponent and/or preventing the opponent from further action which would be not only unlawful but which could be potentially devastating to your legitimate legal and business interests.

The key points to be aware of when considering possibly applying for an injunction are :-

  1. The expense – applying for an injunction can easily require a team of lawyers working for days if not weeks preparing for the application. You will also have to give the court an undertaking in damages if you succeed on the basis that if the defendant successfully applies to have the order set aside you will be ordered to pay damages and costs
  2. Urgency – if you are applying to the court for an urgent order, based on your evidence of areal and immediate danger to your business, you need to act quickly from the time you find out about the danger. If you don’t, the Judge will take this into account and will be skeptical
  3. Don’t bluff – we have seen many instances where clients want to instruct us to threaten an injunction because this is a way of upping the ante and flexing muscles. However, it is a mistake to threaten something you are not prepared to follow through with. If you do so, you will lose credibility with the opponent and it may be seen as a sign of weakness.

How quickly can an Injunction be obtained ?

For very serious matters, where you have the right legal team in place and the evidence is largely readily available it can be possible to obtain an injunction in as little as 48-72 hours after you become aware of a breach or serious threat to your legal rights.

If an injunction order is made by the court without the defendant being notified, which is known as a without notice application, the order must be personally served on the injuncted party very quickly and  another hearing  will be arranged a very short time later at which the Defendant can apply to have the injunction set aside or varied.

Common types of injunction applications made by business

  • Order for immediate return of unpaid goods where there is a clear retention of title clause in the contract and the goods will otherwise be converted to other manufactured goods or deliberately moved from their current location
  • Freezing orders preventing the disposal of assets, including freezing bank accounts where there is a fraud
  • Search orders allowing the search of premises or the seizure of assets or documents
  • Which require the return of stolen confidential information and to restrain ongoing misuse
  • Enforcing employment contract restrictive covenants so as to prevent former employees poaching clients or staff
  • Enforcing IP rights such as breach of copyright, unlawful use of trademark and passing off

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