Court of Appeal rules that money paid into court in separate litigation could not be used to satisfy judgment debt

The defendant had paid money into court in separate litigation in which it was involved. When the claim against it in that litigation was dismissed, an order was made for the sums to be repaid. However, the funds were then made the subject of a freezing order. When the claimant in this case obtained judgment against the defendant, it sought an order under CPR r72.10 for the funds to be paid to him in part satisfaction of his judgment.

At first instance, the judge held that, whatever their prior status, once sums had been paid into court, they were available to a judgment creditor. However, the Court of Appeal held that the judge had erred on this point, finding that: "Money in court is not some special fund which renders it immune from all other claims; and the Court is not bound to make an order in favour of the judgment creditor". Here, once an order was made for the sums to be repaid, the money had become the defendant's money.