Law Report: Guidelines on court orders: Practice Direction: Ex parte Mareva injunctions and Anton Piller orders: Lord Taylor of Gosforth, Lord Chief Justice, Sir Stephen Brown, President of the Family Division, and Sir Donald Nicholls, Vice Chancellor.

The granting of a Mareva (asset-freezing) injunction or Anton Piller (search and seize) order was a matter for the discretion of the judge hearing the application. But since it was desirable for there to be a consistent approach to the form and carrying out of such orders, which seriously restricted a person's rights without first hearing his side of the case, new guidelines had been issued for the assistance of judges and applicants.

Annexed to this practice direction were the new standard forms for (1) an Anton Piller order; (2) a worldwide Mareva injunction, and (3) a Mareva injunction limited to assets within the

jurisdiction.

These should be used unless the judge considered there to be good reason to adopt a different form.

Attention was drawn to the following matters:

(A) On an application for either a Mareva or an Anton Piller order:

(i) Where it was practicable, the pa-

pers should be lodged with the judge at least two hours before the hearing.

(ii) An applicant should be required, where appropriate, to support his cross- undertaking in damages by a payment into court or the provision of a bond by an insurance company. Alternatively, the judge might order a payment by way of such security to be held by the applicant's solicitor, as an officer of the court, pending further order.

(iii) So far as practicable, any application to discharge or vary the order should be dealt with effectively on the return date.

(B) On an application for an Anton Piller order:

(i) (a) As suggested in Universal Thermosensors Ltd v Hibben (1992) 1 WLR 840 at 861, the specimen order provided for it to be served by a 'supervising solicitor' and carried out in their presence and under their supervision. They should be an experienced solicitor, having some familiarity with the operation of Anton Piller orders, who was not a member or employee of the firm acting for the applicant. The evidence in support of the application should include the identity and experience of the proposed supervising solicitor. (b) If the judge did not think it appropriate for the order to be served by a supervising solicitor, his

reasons should be expressed in the order itself.

(ii) Where the premises to be searched were likely to be occupied by an unaccompanied woman and the supervising solicitor was a man, at least one of the persons attending on the service of the order should be a woman.

(iii) Where appropriate, the applicant should be required to insure items removed under the order.

(iv) The applicant should under-

take not to inform any third party of

the proceedings until after the return date.

(v) In future, applications in the Queen's Bench Division would no longer be heard by the judge in chambers. In both Chancery and Queen's Bench divisions, wherever it was practicable, applications would be so listed before a judge as to ensure that he had sufficient time to consider the papers in advance.

(vi) On circuit, applications would be listed before a High Court judge, or a circuit judge sitting as a High Court judge specially designated by the presiding judge to hear such applications.

Finally, if an Anton Piller order or Mareva injunction was discharged on the return date, the judge should always consider whether it was appropriate to assess damages at once and direct immediate payment by the applicant.

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