Author: David A. Crerar
Details: Mareva injunctions, otherwise known as asset freezing orders, are among the most potent civil litigation weapons against fraudsters. Such orders are only practically effective if served on the third parties such as banks and other financial institutions that hold the assets of those fraudsters. The receipt of a Mareva injunction places those financial institutions in a difficult position, caught between their loyalty to their enjoined customers and the compulsion of a court order. This article first examines potential civil and criminal liabilities faced by financial institutions that follow or fail to fallow a Mareva injunction, as well as defences to these liabilities. It then considers the complexities of freezing orders served on foreign financial institutions. It concludes with a review of practical aspects of a financial institution’s protocols when served with a Mareva injunction.

Published originally in Banking and Finance Law Review 21.2 (February 2006). Reprinted with thanks and acknowledgements.