Court of Appeal dismisses application to vacate expedited date to hear appeal of a freezing injunction

Charlie Tomlinson

On 17 January 2015, the Court of Appeal heard an application to vacate an expedited date to hear an appeal of a freezing injunction.

The applicants argued that no expedition was needed because the case was an ordinary freezing injunction and therefore an ordinary interlocutory appeal. They said the expedition was neither necessary nor appropriate. Longmore LJ disagreed. He stated that, as the Commercial Court Guide indicates, freezing injunctions as first instance decisions should be treated as a matter of urgency.

Longmore LJ also found that the case of Unilever v Chefaro [1995] 1 WLR 243, cited by the applicants in support of the application, was out of date. The principles relating to expedition set out in that case were a result of the circumstances of the time when “the lists were very long and everyone was applying for expedition”, and further it was well before the introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and the new White Book (which did not refer to Chefaro).

The applicant’s also argued that their second leading counsel was unavailable on the date given by the Civil Appeals office and this prejudiced them. However, Longmore LJ said this did not give rise to any real prejudice since their primary leading counsel was available on that date.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the application. Longmore LJ’s judgment also gives useful guidance on how the court may view an expedited hearing for a freezing injunction as both necessary and appropriate.

Kazakhstan Kagazy plc and others v Zhunus (formerly Zhunussov) and another [2014] EWCA Civ 74

The judgment is available via Casetrack here.

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