Court finds risk of dissipation in a freezing order application and considers material non-disclosure point

The judge in this case found that a risk of dissipation had been made out on the facts in an application for a freezing order. In particular, the respondent's lengthy delays in appealing a judgment against him in India were suggestive of a wish to avoid or delay as long as possible the satisfaction of his obligations. It was also relevant that he had been held to be in contempt of court on two counts by the Supreme Court of India, and his departure from India, coupled with a resistance to India's application to extradite him, provided some grounds for regarding him as a fugitive from justice. Those factors evidenced a risk of dissipation and "in those circumstances it is reasonable also to take into account the complexity of the structures used by [the respondent] for the holding of assets, which would be likely to facilitate any dissipation of assets".

The respondent had argued that there had been a material non-disclosure by the applicant, because it had failed to mention pre-existing attachment orders granted by a foreign court. The judge said that "As a general matter I consider that the court ought, when being asked to grant a freezing order on a without notice basis, be specifically directed to any pre-existing attachment orders granted by a foreign court, particularly when they extend to assets overseas. It would have been preferable here for the [earlier foreign] attachment orders not merely to have been exhibited but also to have been drawn to Picken J’s attention. Having said that, in the present case I see force in the Claimants’ point that this matter was in context not material and would have been unlikely to assist [the respondent]".