Injunctions can be very powerful tools in litigation. Although interim injunctions are intended to preserve the status quo until the Court has the chance to fully consider the rights and wrongs of a dispute at trial, the granting of an injunction can often lead to immediate settlement of a claim. As injunctions represent a significant infringement of a party`s liberty the circumstances in which they will be granted are tightly controlled by the Courts. Two recent cases give good examples of these.
Generally Courts will only award interim injunctions if the party has applied for the injunction without undue delay. The rationale is that if a matter is not so urgent that a Claimant can take its time before issuing the application, it is not sufficiently urgent to merit an injunction being put in place before a full trial. This was the problem faced by the applicant in Blinx UK Limited -v- Blink Box Entertainment Limited. Blinx had been aware of the basis for its claim since at least 2008. Although Blinx wrote a few letters it did not issue its injunction application until more than a year later. The Court decided that this delay was a reason not to grant the injunction.
A rather more high profile case involved John Terry`s application for a "super injunction" to restrain publication of details of his private life. (A super injunction involves not only an order not to publish details of the thing complained about but also not to publish details of the injunction itself.) Although an injunction was originally granted it was discharged a few days later. The Court`s rationale was that Mr Terry`s main concern was that he might suffer financially by losing sponsorship deals if details of his personal life gained wider publicity. The general principle is that an injunction will not be granted if an applicant can be compensated for his loss by payment of financial damages. In this case the Court felt that if Mr Terry lost sponsorship deals as a result of wrongful publication of his alleged affair this could be remedied by a payment in damages. Accordingly, it was not appropriate to grant an injunction to restrain publication.
Clarkslegal frequently acts for both applicants and respondents in all sorts of injunction applications, including search orders and freezing injunctions.