An injunction is a court order requiring a party to refrain from a certain course of action (a prohibitory injunction) or requiring a party to do something (a mandatory injunction). An interim injunction is a temporary remedy, which is usually granted pending a hearing or until a full trial. Injunctions are a powerful tool, meaning courts only grant them where there is a serious issue to be tried, where damages would not be adequate, and where the court is convinced that an injunction is necessary considering the circumstances.
Types of Injunctions and situations when injunctions are needed
The most common types of injunctions are:
- Search orders
These require one party to allow access to another party onto premises to seek and preserve evidence
- Freezing orders
These prohibit a party from disposing of certain assets. This can involve freezing a party’s bank account
- Delivery up
These are orders requiring delivery up of goods, such as sensitive commercial documents
We often deal with the following situations which require the use of injunctions
- Preserving evidence
- Specific performance, requiring a party to perform a specific act
- Preventing trade mark and copyright infringement
- Preventing acts of harassment
- Preventing breaches of contract or confidence in employment matters
How does the court decide to grant an injunction?
A party wishing to apply for an injunction must show the court that its legal rights are likely to be, or have been, prejudiced by the other party. In these circumstances the court it likely to consider that the is a legitimate claim behind the application. It is very important to bear in mind that an injunction is a discretionary remedy meaning the court is not obliged to grant an injunction. This is dependent on the circumstances of the case and the court will only grant an injunction when it appears just to do so. Lastly, the court will only grant an injunction if it considers that a financial remedy would not be adequate for the claimant.
What is the process for obtaining an Injunction?
Injunctions can be made with or without notice. This means that depending on the particular circumstances, the other party may not be made aware that an application for an injunction is being made against them. The court will only grant a without notice injunction if there is good reason for the other party not being aware of the application against them, such as there being a real risk that assets will be destroyed or relocated.
Applications for interim injunctions are more often than not made on an emergency basis, with the hearing listed as soon as possible. Evidence will be needed in the form of a witness statement.
What are the costs of an Injunction?
Injunctions are notoriously expensive, and can run into thousands and even tens of thousands of pounds, but the exact cost of an Injunction will depend on the nature of the case and application. Generally, the cost will be decided by:
- The type of injunction sought
- The urgency of the injunction
- Whether the application is made without or with notice
- The extent of the evidence required and the number of documents involved
It important to note that if an injunction order is granted, but the court later finds that the order was not ultimately necessary, you may be ordered to pay damages and costs to the other party
If you have a claim which you think requires an application to make an injunction, we can assist you with the process and advise you on the best way to make the application. If we consider an Injunction is not the most suitable way forward, we will discuss alternative next steps and always consider your best interests in keeping costs to a minimum.