Derby and Co Ltd v Weldon: CA 2 Jan 1989

The plaintiff sought damages for breach of contract, for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and deceit and conspiracy. It sought a world-wide injunction.
Held: A freezing order (Mareva injunction) can be made in respect of assets which were outside the jurisdiction. To meet the court’s concerns about the risk of oppression to the defendant arising from the commencement of proceedings abroad, the plaintiffs offered undertakings including not to seek to enforce the WFO abroad without the permission of the court.
Nicholls LJ considered the circumstances in which a court might give its permission to enforce an order abroad: ‘In the present case the plaintiffs propose that this point should be dealt with by the plaintiffs giving to the English court an undertaking in terms which will preclude them from making any application to a foreign court to enforce the order without first obtaining leave from the English court. This seems to me to be a convenient course. If this undertaking is accepted, and an order is made, it would then be for the judge of the English court to whom any application for such leave might be made to consider, amongst other matters, whether the enforcement of the order in the country or countries for which leave is sought will, under the law of that country, result in the order having a substantially similar effect there to a Mareva restraint order in this country, as distinct from the order having there a more far-reaching effect (such as the assets in the country being attached as a form of security for the plaintiffs’ claims, which is not the object of a Mareva restraint order). On any application for such leave, which normally would be inter partes, the judge can be expected to have before him what we do not have, namely, evidence of the law and practice in the country or countries in which the order is sought to be enforced. The undertaking, I add, is being offered by all the plaintiffs, which include amongst their number English companies whose substance has not been questioned. So the undertaking is a worthwhile one.’
Parker LJ said: ‘There are in essence only three issues: (i) has the plaintiff a good arguable case; (ii) has the plaintiff satisfied the Court that there are assets within and, where an extraterritorial order is sought, without the jurisdiction; and (iii) is there a real risk of dissipation or secretion of assets so as to render any judgment which the plaintiff may obtain nugatory. Such matters should be decided on comparatively brief evidence.’
Nicholls LJ, Parker LJ
[1990] Ch 48, [1989] 2 WLR 276, (1989) 133 SJ 83, [1989] 1 All ER 469, [1989] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 122
England and Wales
CitedAshtiani v Kashi CA 1986
On the grant of a Mareva injunction, the defendant had disclosed assets outside the jurisdiction in bank accounts in Europe. The plaintiff then obtained injunctions relating to those assets. The defendant obtained the discharge of those orders on . .
CitedRepublic of Haiti v Duvalier CA 1989
The defendant had fled from Haiti with a large part of that country’s assets while in power. Proceedings were pending in France which gave no jurisdiction to grant a worldwide freezing or disclosure order. He had used a firm of English solicitors as . .
See AlsoDerby and Co v Weldon CA 2-Aug-1988
The court has a power to make a pre-judgment worldwide asset freezing order (a mareva injunction) on satisfaction of the following conditions: 1. That the defendant can be protected against too many and oppressive actions, 2. That he can be . .
See AlsoDerby v Weldon (No. 3) ChD 7-Nov-1988
The plaintiff alleged conspiracy to defraud in a sum in excess of andpound;25m. During the application for a freezing order the stance of the defendant had been one of ‘taciturnity’ and non-disclosure. But on the last day of the hearing it was said . .
See AlsoDerby and Co v Weldon (No2) CA 2-Jan-1989
The plaintiff appealed against the refusal of a world-wide Mareva injunction.
Held: The appeal succeeded. Lord Donaldson of Lymington MR said: ‘We live in a time of rapidly growing commercial and financial sophistication and it behoves the . .

Cited by:
See AlsoDerby and Co Ltd v Weldon (Nos 3 and 4) CA 1990
The plaintiff had obtained an asset freezing order against a defendant Panamanian Company, which now appealed saying that it was inappropriate to make such an order where the company had no assets in the jurisdiction.
Held: The appeal failed. . .
See AlsoDerby and Co Ltd And Others v Weldon And Others (No 9) ChD 25-Jul-1990
The court considered the application of rules relating to the discovery of documents to material held on computer: ‘the database of a computer, so far as it contained information capable of being retrieved and converted into readable form, and . .
See AlsoDerby and Co Ltd v Weldon (No 8) CA 27-Jul-1990
There had been a lengthy and contentious process of discovery. Certain documents with legal professional privilege had also been handed over inadvertently. The plaintiff sought their return and an order against them being used.
Held: The . .
See AlsoDerby and Co Ltd And Others v Weldon And Others (No 10) CA 1991
A document had been disclosed by mistake.
Held: The inspecting parties must have realised that the documents had been disclosed by mistake. Fairness on the opposite party is the basis for the courts to hold for a waiver of legal privilege.
CitedDadourian Group Int Inc v Simms and others (No 1) CA 11-Apr-2006
The court was asked to consider how it should exercise its discretion to order a world-wide asset freezing order.
Held: It dismissed the appeal in this case, but took the opportunity to provide eight guidelines for the way in which the . .
CitedFranses v Al Assad and others ChD 26-Oct-2007
The claimant had obtained a freezing order over the proceeds of sale of a property held by solicitors. The claimant was liquidator of a company, and an allegation of wrongful trading had been made against the sole director and defendant. The . .
See AlsoDerby and Co v Weldon (No 6) CA 3-Jan-1990
The court considered its power to order transfer of assets from one jurisdiction (in this case Switzerland) to another in aid of a Mareva injunction.
Held: An order that assets be delivered or transferred to a receiver was a usual one.
Updated: 01 June 2021; Ref: scu.240388