Toronto Ontario Injunctions and Urgent Remedies Lawyers

Freezing Bank Accounts | Mareva Injunction | Norwich Order | Freeze Property
Injunctions Concerning Theft, Fraud, Embezzlement and Disappearance of Money
Mandatory Order for Sale of Property | Preservation of Property | Ex Parte Order
Anton Piller Order – Court Order to Search and Seize Evidence

We can act for and regularly are retained by those seeking injunctions and other urgent judicial remedies and by those who are responding to (defending) such orders of the court. We can also advise and act for those who are not parties to existing or intended legal proceedings, but who are subject of a court order or affected by it.

This often includes banks, trust companies, investment dealers, stakeholders, escrow agents, creditors, debtors, spouses and others who have a joint or common interest in the subject matter of the order or assets described in such orders.

Whether you or your company are seeking, responding to, affected by or subject of an order or injunction, do not delay in seeking legal advice and representation. Delays may very well limit rights to obtain injunctive relief. Compliance with a court order is a serious matter which requires urgent legal advice and representation.  We can act in legal proceedings to seek to set aside injunctions which should not have been granted or to vary injunctions to allow for ordinary living expenses and legal expenses. We can advise on sealing orders and confidentiality.

In some disputes or claims, clients may require immediate assistance from the courts. Commonly sought injunctions and other urgent relief, named after the cases in which they were first ordered are the Mareva injunction, the Norwich Order and the Anton Piller order.

Types of Injunctions and Stay Orders

These are generally categorized as:

  1. Injunctions to preserve and safeguard assets, such as freezing bank accounts, evidence or the means to satisfy an existing or future judgment or arbitration award;
  2. Injunctions restraining impending or continuing acts, conduct or behavior;
  3. Mandatory orders requiring the performance of certain acts, including the return of or permitted use of property, and the performance of an agreed sale of property or real estate;
  4. Mandatory order to preserve status quo pending the final resolution of the dispute by the courts
  5. Stay orders to halt legal or arbitral proceedings; and
  6. Other time-sensitive equitable remedies such as rescission of a contract (unmaking of a contract), and specific performance of a contract (enforced performance of a contract).

Other disputes and claims may require assistance from the courts to arrest certain types of property such as ships and aircraft, which are the subject of the claim, or otherwise recognized by law to be subject to arrest.

Injunctions have been classified by the courts as being interim injunctions, interlocutory injunctions, permanent injunctions and mandatory injunctions.

The need for an urgent judicial remedy often arises in the following circumstances:

Failing to obtain an urgent remedy of the court may often threaten the viability of the business which has been, or may otherwise be harmed.  In such circumstances, the survival of a business, company or partnership may be at risk.

At other times the injunction or other urgent remedy is to ensure that sufficient funds or assets, which might otherwise be dissipated, are available to satisfy an existing or future judgment of the court or arbitration award.

Sometimes a stay of proceedings is sought because other legal proceedings or arbitration proceedings have been properly brought.

Specific Injunctions, Stay and Other Orders

Here is a list of some of the urgent remedies that have been granted by the courts:

  • Anton Piller orders (court order to search and seize evidence, without prior warning)
  • Anti-suit injunctions (sometimes called a stay order)
  • Arbitration – urgent remedies
  • Arrest of ships
  • Arrest of aircraft
  • Attachment of assets
  • Asset freezing orders
  • Certificate of Pending Litigation (CPL)
  • Copyright infringement injunctions
  • Defamation injunctions
  • Enforcement of contractual rights
  • Evidence preservation orders
  • Freeze Bank Accounts
  • Freezing orders
  • Interim injunctions
  • Interim preservation orders
  • Interim recovery of personal property orders
  • Interlocutory injunctions
  • Internet and e-commerce litigation
  • Jurisdictional challenges
  • Mandatory orders
  • Mareva injunctions (otherwise known as a freezing order)
  • Norwich orders (ordered disclosure of documents and information from a third party)
  • Oppression remedies
  • Order for the performance of the agreed sale of property, land or real estate
  • Order to preserve status quo (prevent changes) pending trial
  • Passing-off injunctions
  • Preservation of property
  • Quia Timet injunctions (for threatened or imminent acts)
  • Recovery of property
  • Registering Caution on Title (Not Court Ordered)
  • Specific performance of contracts
  • Stay orders pending appeal
  • Trade-mark infringement injunctions
  • Urgent arbitrator (injunctions before arbitration tribunal appointed)
  • World-wide Mareva injunctions

Post-Judgment Mareva Injunctions (Freezing Orders)

Mareva injunction is, generally speaking, a tool to preserve a defendant’s assets until judgment is obtained. The courts in Ontario have adopted and recognized that such injunctive relief can be obtained post-judgment, whether or not a Mareva injunction was obtained before judgment.  While notionally the test for a post-judgment Mareva order is the same as when one is sought prior to judgment, the necessity of establishing a good arguable case is almost always satisfied by the fact that judgment was already obtained. The court may impose certain conditions or time-frames to the post-judgment Mareva order to provide sufficient opportunity for a successful party to enforce judgment without perpetually restraining a party from accessing their own assets. Though such orders would be most common where a pre-judgment Mareva order was sought and granted, changing circumstances or intervening actions of the defendant may entitle a plaintiff to a post-judgment Mareva order in any event.

Worldwide Mareva Injunctions (Freezing Orders)

Normally, an order of a court is only binding on individuals and organizations in that jurisdiction. In today’s modern economy, the ability to move assets between jurisdictions is easy, and without legal protections, unscrupulous defendants can move their assets out of a jurisdiction to seek to avoid creditors. Ontario courts have issued worldwide Mareva injunctions when appropriate. The court must be satisfied that it has jurisdiction over the defendant (that is, the defendant is present in Ontario or there is some other real and substantial connection to Ontario), and that there are assets outside (or taken outside) Ontario which would require a worldwide injunction. Of course, local counsel of the relevant foreign jurisdictions need to be consulted to ascertain that the worldwide Mareva obtained in Ontario would be enforced in the foreign jurisdiction.

It is important to seek advice from counsel experienced with injunctive and cross-border litigation when seeking a Marevainjunction in the Ontario courts intended to be enforced against assets which are located outside Ontario.

We have strength and experience in advising foreign clients involved in litigation or arbitration in Ontario and across its borders.

Some of our lawyers have been admitted and practised law in foreign jurisdictions (including England, Bermuda and New York), have both foreign and local legal education, including in the U.S. and U.K. and a number of our lawyers and law clerks speak languages including French, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, Russian and Cantonese.

We are often consulted by those located in the United States, and in the past have been consulted by or retained in litigation by those (or matters located) in Alaska, California, Washington, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida and Texas. Internationally, we have also been involved in litigation or arbitration with clients (or matters) located in the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, England, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Monaco, Guyana, Liberia, South Africa, Angola, The Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Kuwait, India, Bangladesh, South Korea, Hong Kong, PRC and Australia.

The Courts in Ontario may in the required circumstances recognize and enforce foreign equitable orders such as foreign injunctions (not just foreign money judgments).

The following factors are considered in determining recognition and enforceability of a foreign injunction: (a) are the terms of the order clear and specific enough to ensure that the defendant will know what is expected ; (b) is the order limited in its scope and did the originating court retain the power to issue further orders; (c) is the enforcement the least burdensome remedy for the Canadian justice system; (d) is the Canadian litigant exposed to unforeseen obligations; (e) are any third parties affected by the order; and (f) will the use of judicial resources be consistent with what would be allowed for domestic litigants.

Such factors are in addition to the usual considerations of the courts in Ontario when asked to recognize a foreign judgment.

Experience is very important when acting for a client seeking an injunction or other urgent remedies. Our commercial litigation lawyers are senior, leading practitioners in this area of practice and can provide sound advice and effective representation in such time sensitive matters. Our lawyers are dedicated to addressing urgent client needs.

Some of our lawyers have experience in seeking and responding to claims for urgent equitable remedies in the courts of Ontario and Canada, and/or elsewhere. Some of our lawyers have experience in triage court and the Commercial List of the Superior Court of Justice.

We can also work with our client’s lawyers in foreign jurisdictions, where the dispute or claim has an international or cross-border dimension, and urgent equitable remedies can be sought in this jurisdiction.

Please contact Gilbertson Davis LLP to arrange an initial consultation.