Mareva Injunctions

Named for Mareva Compania Naviera SA v International Bulkcarriers SA [1975] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 509, a Mareva Injunction is a court order which freezes assets so that a defendant cannot surreptitiously dissipate assets to prevent the enforcement of a judgment.

These injunctions are widely recognised in common law jurisdictions and such orders can have world-wide effect.  Similar provisions are now available in the rest of Europe, under Article 9(2) of the European Union Directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, which was approved in April 2004.

The injunction is often granted ex parte and pre-trial based on affidavit evidence alone.  A Norwich order sometimes precedes the Mareva Injunction.  A Mareva Injunction is often combined with an Anton Piller order. The combination of a Mareva Injunction and an Anton Pillar order can be devastating to a business or professional person by freezing assets and revealing proprietary processes and data to competitors. However, this does prevent a foreign company from removing its assets from the country before a trial can take place. Today’s telecommunications makes moving assets almost instantaneous. The Anton Pillar order prevents the destruction of evidence before trial.