Commissioners of Customs and Excise v Anchor Foods Ltd (No 2): ChD 24 Mar 1999

The claimant intended to seek recovery of a very substantial sum from the defendant. On learning of the defendant’s intention to sell its assets, it sought an order freezing them.
Held: The court has the discretion to order a freezing of a defendant’s assets so as to prevent a transfer of those assets, even though a reputable firm of accountants had valued the assets at the price which was to be paid, and that therefore there was no transfer at an udervalue. It should not be used to interfere in normal business acts. The court made an order granting the injunction, subject to an undertaking for costs, and allowing the defendant to bring evidence as to the proper values of the assets to be transferred.


Neuberger J


Times 01-Apr-1999, Gazette 24-Mar-1999, [1999] EWHC 833 (Ch), [2000] CP Rep 19, [1999] 3 All ER 268, [1999] 1 WLR 1139




England and Wales


See alsoCommissioners of Customs and Excise v Anchor Foods Limited Admn 26-Jun-1998
The court heard an appeal by the Commissioners from the VAT Duties Tribunal that ‘Spreadable butter’ and ‘Ammix butter’ from New Zealand made and imported by the respondent are ‘manufactured directly from milk or cream’, and are not ‘recombined . .

Cited by:

See alsoCommissioners of Customs and Excise v Anchor Foods Ltd (No 3) ChD 8-Jul-1999
The Civil Procedure Rules have not changed the common law rules which say that an interlocutory order for costs could not be varied by another judge sitting at first instance, except only in exceptional circumstances where it appeared for example . .
See alsoCustoms and Excise v Anchor Foods Ltd (No.4) ChD 18-Oct-1999
. .
See AlsoCommissioners of Customs and Excise v Broomco (1984) Ltd (Formerly Anchor Foods Ltd) CA 17-Aug-2000
When an appeal is lodged in a VAT dispute, the discretion as to whether to require the appellant to lodge security for costs in the appeal, was a decision exclusively to be decided by the tribunal itself. A decision as to such security could not be . .
CitedShepherd Construction Ltd v Berners (BVI) Ltd and Another TCC 25-Mar-2010
The defendants sought a release from an asset freezing order, saying that there was no good reason to anticipate any dissipation of assets. An action between the parties had been settled on terms, but the defendant had not met payments. The . .
CitedThe Financial Services Authority v Sinaloa Gold Plc and Others SC 27-Feb-2013
The FSA sought injunctions to restrain the activities of the first defendants, including asset freezing orders under section 380 of the 2000 Act. The defendant’s bankers objected that they would be prejudiced by the restrictions without the FSA . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice

Updated: 24 August 2022; Ref: scu.79365