INJUNCTIONS: Stop, in the Name of the Law!

In the old days, people would rush before the King and demand justice, and he would immediately deal with the case. When the King decided to knock that on the head, lawyers got hold of the litigation process and implemented increasingly long-winded processes.

Today the processes are relatively quick, but you still need to jump through the hoops of your lawyer wanting to send a warning letter to the other side, collecting details and paperwork, taking statements and doing a lot of messing about, which is called solid preparation. It takes weeks before you can slap a writ on your enemy and, worse still, they don’t even call it a writ anymore.

However, in some cases, the matter is urgent, and you can be in court the following morning, e.g. if a former employee has given your client list to a competitor. In these sorts of cases, a court will order an “interim injunction” to stop the action until the case can be heard.

But courts do not just give injunctions away, however; there are certain tests that a judge will apply, such as:

1.    It has to be something serious. Anything involving pets, hurt feelings or golf is not going to do it.

2.  Is it really necessary? Could a payment of compensation (“damages”) after the hearing be sufficient compensation?

3.   The court will try to balance the convenience of granting an injunction to you against the inconvenience to your enemy. For instance, what if you were wrong, but the injunction caused your enemy’s business to go under?

Also, you will undertake to be responsible for any loss caused by the injunction if you should lose.

An application for an interim injunction is quick, exciting and, of course, expensive.


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