An injunction is usually a separate action within a larger claim. It is a discretionary remedy that takes the form of a court order and requires a party to either refrain from doing something (prohibitory) or to specifically do something (mandatory). Where a temporary injunction is put in place pending the outcome of proceedings between the parties this is known as an interim injunction (previously known as an 'interlocutory injunction').
Interim injunctions are generally sought where there is a risk that one party to a dispute could cause serious financial or reputational damage to the other party if they are permitted to carry on with certain actions.
In commercial disputes a court can make orders to stop a party from doing the following:
You can apply for an interim injunction before or after proceedings. The Civil Procedure Rules govern how an application is to be made to the court; your solicitor will ensure the process is managed correctly.
Applications for interim injunctions generally need to be supported by some evidence.
Applications for an emergency injunction can be made to the court and without notifying the defendant.
If the emergency arises out of hours, your solicitor may be able to deal with it by telephoning the court and faxing through a draft of the interim injunction application and the reason it is being sought.
In these situations, the court relies on the applicant making a truthful disclosure and he or she has a duty to correct any misinformation or omissions as soon as these become apparent, and to notify the court of any changes in circumstances which become apparent before the hearing.
Failure to do this will result in the injunction being removed and the applicant having to compensate the defendant for any losses resulting from the injunction, on top of any costs incurred.
The court will apply the ‘balance of convenience’ test when deciding whether to grant an interim injunction. A judge will weigh the likely inconvenience or damage which would be suffered by the applicant if the injunction is not granted against the likely inconvenience or cost for the respondent if it is.
The court will also consider whether or not any potential injustice resulting in the granting of the injunction could be compensated by an award of damages at a later date.
If the party who is subject to the injunction breaches it, he or she will be in contempt of court. The penalty for this can be imprisonment and/or a fine.
To discuss obtaining an interim injunction, please feel free to search through our website to find a solicitor who specialises in the procedure.