In July of 2022, Walker Law was successful in obtaining a worldwide Mareva injunction on behalf of its client for $33 million dollars. A copy of that decision is here. A Mareva injunction is a rare and extremely difficult form of injunctive to obtain. If granted, this relief freezes the assets of the recipient, which prevents them from hiding or getting rid of assets.
The leading case on interlocutory injunctions is RJR MacDonald Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General). This case established that the requesting party seeking an injunction must prove to the court:
- that there is a serious question to be tried;
- that irreparable harm will result if the injunction is not granted; and
- that the party seeking the injunction would suffer a greater harm if the injunction is refused.
The party seeking a worldwide Mareva injunction must prove to the court that:
- it has a strong case against the defendants;
- defendants have assets in the jurisdiction where the party is seeking the injunction;
- there is a risk that the defendants will remove, dispose, or otherwise put the assets beyond the reach of the court so that the plaintiff is unable to seize the assets to satisfy judgment;
- the party seeking the injunction would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction is not granted; and,
- the balance of convenience favours the granting of the order.
In this case, our client was induced to invest large sums of money by a crypto-currency trader who promised substantial returns on our client’s investments. This individual continuously updated our client on the trades and showed large returns. However, when our client asked for repayment of the investment, it was not completely paid back.
Walker Law successfully demonstrated to the court that there was a serious risk that the individual would move or dissipate assets if a worldwide Mareva injunction was not granted. The Court recognized that “in the world of technology in which we presently live, transferring liquid assets, money, and cryptocurrency, can occur at the click of a mouse.”
Walker Law also showed that absent the Mareva injunction, our client would likely be unable to get repaid funds, even if successful in the lawsuit. Walker Law also showed that our client provided significant funds to the individual and that those funds are required for our client’s business and personal use.
It is difficult to show that the balance of convenience favours granting a Mareva injunction. It is an extreme measure for the court to grant an order against a party before judgment. This is amplified by the nature of a Mareva order. The recipient of such an order will not be able to access their assets, including bank accounts, subject to exceptions made by the court. Walker Law used evidence of the defendants’ suspicious behaviour and the harm that would be suffered by our client to show that the balance of convenience favoured the Mareva Injunction.
Are You Having Trouble Having an Investment Returned?
If you invested funds, and you have a serious reason to believe that those funds have not been invested properly or have been misappropriated, a Mareva injunction is a potential remedy to consider prior to bringing a lawsuit to ensure your investments are secured.
Keep in mind that injunctions are very time-consuming, complex, and costly. Moreover, Mareva injunctions should be argued as soon as possible to ensure that your assets are protected.
If granted, a Mareva injunction helps to prevent defendants from getting rid or moving assets and will provide you with a better chance of realizing your judgment against them. Without a Mareva injunction, your investment may be lost, regardless if you are successful in a lawsuit against the defendants.
 RJR-MacDonald Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General), 1994 SCC 1197
 OPFFA v. Paul Atkinson et al., 2019 ONSC 3877 at para 6