HM Revenue and Customs v Egleton and others: ChD 19 Sep 2006

The claimants had applied for the winding up of a company for very substantial sums of VAT due to it. Anticipating that hearing, it now sought restraining orders against the director defendants, alleging that there had been a carousel or missing trader fraud. The defendants said that the interim frezing orders made had been without jurisdiction or should not have been made as a matter of discretion.
Held: The court did have jurisdiction to grant the freezing orders against the respondents in this case, or to continue them pending the appointment of a liquidator of CandE: ‘the time has come for the English Courts to recognise, consistently with the carefully considered conclusion of the High Court of Australia, that the jurisdiction to grant freezing orders against third parties is not rigidly restricted by the Chabra requirement to show that, at the time when the order is sought, the third party is already holding or in control of assets beneficially owned by the defendant. ‘ and ‘once the relatively clear Chabra boundary line is breached, there is no wider boundary which has any sufficient clarity to serve as a workable condition to the existence of jurisdiction, than the broad confines of the second limb of the principle in paragraph 57 of the main judgment in Cardile. In particular, it seems to me that a rigid causation test is too narrow and potentially unjust, in particular because it would protect third party fraudsters who had in reality caused the claimant’s loss from exposure to a freezing order while exposing honest third parties . . ‘


Briggs J


[2006] EWHC 2313 (Ch)




England and Wales


CitedCardile v LED Builders PTY Limited 1999
(High Court of Australia) The respondent (‘LED’) twice sought relief from Eagle Homes PTY Limited (‘Eagle’) for copyright infringement. Anticipating the proceedings the only shareholders and controllers of Eagle, the claimants arranged the . .
CitedRe: Ravenhart Service (Holdings) Limited ChD 2004
The petitioners in a combined section 459 and contributories’ winding up petition sought interim relief akin to an ordinary freezing order but which was designed specifically to prevent the assets of the company from dissipation, and similar relief . .
CitedC Inc Plc v L and Another QBD 4-May-2001
The plaintiff had obtained judgment against L, only then to find that she claimed that all only apparent assets were held by her on trust for or as agent for her husband who was overseas. The plaintiff therefore now set out to add him, and to claim . .
CitedIn Re Premier Electronics (GB) Ltd ChD 27-Feb-2001
The petitioners brought an action under s459 and obtained freezing orders both in relation to the property of the subject company and in relation to the assets of its two executive directors up to the value of pounds 500,000 each. On the adjourned . .
CitedSiskina (owners of Cargo lately on Board) v Distos Compania Naviera SA HL 1979
An injunction was sought against a Panamanian ship-owning company to restrain it from disposing of a fund, consisting of insurance proceeds, in England. The claimant for the injunction was suing the company in a Cyprus court for damages and believed . .
CitedMercantile Group (Europe) Ag v Aiyela and Others CA 4-Aug-1993
Interlocutory injunctions including Mareva procedures and orders are available to support the enforcement of a judgment. The purpose of such a jurisdiction is so that the court can ‘ensure the effective enforcement of its orders’. A court may still . .
CitedAiglon Limited and another v Gau Shan Co Limited ChD 1993
The defendants had obtained world-wide Mareva injunctions in support of substantive proceedings by way of their counterclaim to enforce an arbitration award against the plaintiffs under section 26 against two companies, Aiglon Limited and L’Aiglon . .
CitedTSB Private Bank International SA v Chabra ChD 1992
Asset freezing orders may be made against persons in relation to whom the claimant asserts no cause of action and seeks no money judgment, but in relation to whom there is an arguable case that assets held in their name or under their control are in . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Customs and Excise, Litigation Practice, Company

Updated: 01 July 2022; Ref: scu.245032