In Mediterranean Shipping Co v OMG International Ltd and others – Butterworths Law Direct 18.9.08 the Claimant was involved in litigation elsewhere with the Defendant, including an action in New York where the Claimant had been granted a 'rule B' attachment of certain assets of the Defendant. The Defendant had applied to the New York court to set aside the attachment. The Claimant applied in England for a world wide freezing order against the Defendant, relying on what it submitted constituted evidence of a substantial fraud committed by the Defendant and others. Due to the existence of the other proceedings, the application was made on notice. Initially the Defendant was represented by solicitors and filed an acknowledgement of service. Prior to the hearing of the application, however, the solicitors came off the record and the Defendant did not appear and was not represented. The Defendant was not based in England and Wales and had no significant presence in the jurisdiction.
The issues included whether the court should grant the order notwithstanding the Defendant's lack of connection with the jurisdiction. In granting the worldwide freezing order the Commercial Court held that, on the facts, there was cogent evidence before the court of a substantial fraud that had been 'masterminded' from London. The evidence suggested an international conspiracy involving the Defendant. The Defendant had acknowledged service and no application for setting aside service had been made. If the New York court held that the rule B attachment should be set aside, then the English court would be the only court which could provide the necessary disclosure and freezing relief. No breach of comity arose so far as New York was concerned. The Claimant had sufficient resources to meet any order under the cross-undertaking and it was therefore not necessary to require security.