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Judgement in default of appearance granted against two defendants in commercial proceedings

By: Ian Fitzharris BL

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High Court, in Commercial Court proceedings alleging that two of the defendants are co-conspirators in a scheme aimed at unlawfully devaluing shares owned by the plaintiffs in a Russian company, grants orders for judgment in default of appearance against two of the defendants, together with disclosure orders and mareva-type injunctive reliefs in respect of the defendants' assets beyond the jurisdiction, on the grounds that: (1) the plaintiffs have satisfied the requirements of the rules of the superior courts to ground their application for judgment; and (2) the uncontested affidavit evidence before the court indicates ancillary reliefs are required, in the circumstances, so that the plaintiffs' judgment order is not frustrated.

Application for judgment in default of appearance - O.13 rr. 6 and 9 RSC - claim that defendants are co-conspirators in alleged scheme intended to wrongfully divest plaintiffs of their shares in a Russian company - motion for judgment in default of appearance seeking mareva type injunctive relief in relation to the defendants' assets - alleged 'raider attack' scheme - legal requirements of application and proofs required - notice of plenary summons properly served - no appearance within eight weeks of date of service - no appearance despite warning letters - motion for leave to amend original statement of claim was served on defendants - affidavit evidence suggesting director of defendant company entered an unconditional appearance in July 2018 so there is no reason to believe company is not fully aware of proceedings - amended statement of claim filed in Central Office - affidavit evidence accepted that there is no reason to believe service of motion for judgment in default of appearance was not delivered in ordinary course of post - procedural requirement of court rules complied with - verifying evidence of plaintiff's claims in relation to scheme - campaign of vexatious litigation - effects on plaintiffs' shares - judgment granted - plaintiff entitled to damages, interest and injunctive reliefs - legal principles applicable to the grant of injunctive and ancillary reliefs - reliefs sought in aid of execution - inherent jurisdiction to grant post-judgment mareva-type injunctive relief - criteria required - undertaking as to damages - significant risk of dissipation of assets - balance of convenience - just and appropriate to dispense with requirement of plaintiffs to provide an undertaking as to damages - disclosure orders granted in order to ensure plaintiffs' judgment order will not be frustrated.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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