Court of Appeal considers the risk of dissipation where enforcement in a foreign jurisdiction would be difficult
In this case, the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against an earlier refusal by the court to continue a freezing order. The claimant had sought to argue that it would be difficult to enforce any award in its favour in Nigeria (because, it was argued, a well-resourced party could delay enforcement there for a considerable period of time by pursuing “constitutional rights of appeal”). The Court of Appeal pointed out that a freezing order is only appropriate where enforcement of an award or judgment would be “more difficult than usual” (ie there would be more than the usual difficulties encountered by those seeking to enforce in that jurisdiction). As Tomlinson LJ put it: “Carried to its logical conclusion the contention … is that any party who contracts with a Nigerian company and may in due course need to enforce against assets in that jurisdiction can, without more, assert a significant risk of dissipation arising out of delay in enforcement. This is self-evidently absurd”. Nor did the fact that there had been an allegedly hostile meeting between the parties amount to much: “It is common in commercial negotiations for parties to express strong views.” The Court of Appeal concluded that a company guarantee from the defendant’s parent company was sufficient to deal with any concerns regarding dissipation.