The applicant alleges that the respondent (its employee) received bribes from the applicant's sub-contractors. A freezing injunction made against the respondent ordered him to provide an affidavit setting out what assets were bought with monies from the sub-contractors and who now holds those assets (thus allowing the applicant to potentially pursue a tracing claim). It is a principle of English law that an agent who receives a bribe in breach of his fiduciary duty holds those monies on trust for his principal, who has a proprietary remedy in respect of them.
The respondent sought to argue that the court could only make the order that it did pursuant to the Norwich Pharmacal jurisdiction (and an order under that jurisdiction could not be justified here). That argument was rejected by Behrens HHJ, who said that "I do not accept that the equitable jurisdiction and the Norwich jurisdiction are part and parcel of the same jurisdiction". Here, the applicant has a potential tracing remedy and no other method of finding out what has happened to monies received from the subcontractors and there was no reason to believe that the subcontractors themselves would know. Accordingly, the more stringent requirements of theNorwich Pharmacal jurisdiction did not apply here.
The judge also accepted that this was a case where the respondent should not be allowed to dispose of assets "in the ordinary course of business", since it had not been explained how the respondent's business carried out any legitimate business. The applicant was also given permission to use information disclosed by the respondent in separate disciplinary proceedings brought by the applicant against the respondent.