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Immediate injunctive relief during the shutdown period

24 March 2020

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #COVID-19

Immediate injunctive relief during the shutdown period

Historically, times of wide-spread financial stress can increase the chance that decision-making by your commercial counterparties may be more inwardly focused, lacking consideration for your commercial interests and legal rights. This may lead to a requirement to bring or defend legal action urgently to protect your own interests by seeking orders for immediate injunctive relief. 

An injunction is a formal court order that either prevents an action from being taken by a party or requires an action to be taken by that party.

This may be critical in a number of circumstances. Just a few examples where an injunction may be necessary include:

  • to prevent your supplier suddenly diverting supply elsewhere in breach of a supply agreement
  • to prevent a party illegally attempting to terminate a contract
  • to prevent a counterparty taking precipitous action against your assets
  • to stop a third party making illegal use of your intellectual property.

In considering whether to grant an injunction the court will consider:

  • is there a legitimate and serious legal question to determine?
  • will an order for damages be sufficient to cure any wrongdoing?
  • who is the most inconvenienced party if an injunction isn’t granted?
  • does the party seeking the injunction have the capacity to give an undertaking to pay the other party’s damages if they’re ultimately found to be in the wrong?

Limits on the size of indoor gatherings and the trend towards social distancing present a unique challenge for courts. But they are quickly adapting. Contested applications, including injunctions, may proceed by phone and video. Traditional, in person hearings may still be able to be accommodated provided they proceed with limited numbers of persons present in court and that those who are present are seated at the requisite distance from one another. In any event, courts will remain the key to protecting legitimate commercial enterprise in uncertain times.

Holding Redlich has experienced lawyers ready to assist you. The courts, while currently deferring most matters as a result of COVID-19, will hear urgent matters and we are resourced to assist you to get urgent court rulings and to defend your legal and commercial positon. 

Authors: Chris Brodrick & Mitchell Waters

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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