Injunctions

Our head of legal services specialises in media law and our media savvy consultant solicitors are experienced in dealing with injunctions.

LegalRoad is experienced in assisting both claimants and defendants with injunction applications. Not all cases warrant the inconvenience and costs of an interim injunction for a potential claimant or the associated risks for defending an application. There may be other options available to you where we seek to negotiate an out of court settlement by agreeing contractual undertakings.

In the context of a media law; an injunction is normally granted to prevent the publication of private, confidential, defamatory and/or inaccurate information, including the removal of online content. Where the injunctive measure is a civil court order prohibiting a person from doing a specific act and/or requiring that person to do something specifically. Injunctions may also be granted to prevent harassment. If an injunction is disobeyed this can amount to contempt of court, which can result in the offender being imprisoned, fined or having their assets seized.

With all applications an injunction is a discretionary remedy. The court must be satisfied there is a good arguable claim and an injunction is necessary. For matters pertaining to publications, the court must be satisfied that an injunction is likely to be granted following a trial. While for harassment cases, the court will determine where the “balance of convenience” lies by weighing up the likely damage to the applicant if an injunction is not granted against the inconvenience to the applicant if it is. Ultimately, it’s about persuading the judge.

The court can impose an interim injunction at the commencement of the case. An interim injunction is a temporary injunction that normally stays in force until the trial. The court can then grant a permanent injunction if the claim succeeds at trial. Interim injunctions for pure defamation claims are very rare due to “the law of prior restraint” and where a respondent intends to defend a claim at trial, but an interim injunction may still be available when the defamation claim overlaps another claim.

When applying for an injunction; Civil Procedure Rules usually require three clear days’ notice to be given to the defendant, to enable him to prepare a defence and instruct council. Where the publication or disclosure of some information is about to happen and an urgent interim injunction is sought on a ‘without notice’ or ‘ex parte’ basis which could be over the weekend or outside the normal working hours. Then there will always be a second hearing a short while later for the court to decide whether the interim injunction should stay in force after the defendant has had an opportunity to seek legal advice.

An injunctive measure should be seriously considered prior to proceeding as a trial can be protracted and the costs of seeking an injunction via the courts can be considerable. Particularly if you should lose or abandon the claim as the court will then normally order you to pay the opponent’s legal costs. The costs are dependent on the legal and factual intricacies of the case, the urgency of the injunction and the expertise of the counsel instructed. We will require a minimum payment of £5,000 on the client account prior to proceeding with an interim injunction. This payment is adjusted to £10,000 for an urgent interim injunction which requires two hearings. Legal aid is not available for this area of law and we do not act on a “no win no fee” arrangement for this type of work.

Not all cases warrant the costs and associated risk of an interim injunction.  We offer fixed fee consultations from £320 plus VAT to review your papers, take instructions and advise you on options. This arrangement is popular with clients who are uncertain as to their legal options and the next steps to take.

We have specialist media law solicitors available at short notice to deal with emergency injunction applications. If you are seeking an urgent injunction and are in a position to retain the company, please call us now.

Legal Specialists

Richmond Duff

Solicitor

Robert Mackenzie

Barrister

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