In Cyprus, Courts have jurisdiction to issue any interim order, “in all cases, in which it appears to the Court, just and convenient to do so”, provided that the following conditions are satisfied by the applicant/plaintiff:
- it appears, that the plaintiff has “a probability” to obtain a favourable judgment;
- there is a great risk that, in the absence of an interim order, it will be difficult or impossible to do justice at a later stage.
What types of interim order can be issued by Cyprus courts?
There are several types of interim orders that can be issued by Cyprus Courts. Among them are the following:
- Freezing injunctions (Mareva Injuctions)
Such injunctions can be issued for assets situated in or outside Cyprus. In case the assets are situated outside Cyprus, the respondents should be residing in Cyprus, and be subject to the jurisdiction of Cyprus Courts.
Assets to be blocked can be movables (i.e. funds, deposits, shares, goods etc.) and/or immovable property.
- Interim orders blocking the exercise of certain acts or the implementation of certain events.
The Court can issue orders to block for example the convention of Shareholders Meetings of Cyprus Companies, the implementation of corporate decisions relating to Cyprus Companies etc.
- Discovery and Tracing orders / Norwich Pharmakal orders
In the context of such applications, Cyprus Courts can issue orders:
- Disclosure on oath by a respondent of the location and value of his assets;
- Disclosure of information and documents regarding assets stolen in order to assist the victim of fraud, to trace his assets, to identify the wrongdoer, to plead his case and to prove his case.
If there are no alternative means to obtain the sought information, the discovery order can be issued against any person, involved or not to the action.
This order can be issued against banks and professionals and it cannot be blocked, due to the banking secrecy or professional privilege etc.
- Chabra Orders
The “Chabra” freezing orders are issued by Cyprus Courts where there are grounds, to believe that a co-defendant is in a possession or control of assets to which the principal defendant, is entitled.
- Search Orders / Anton Piller Orders
Cyprus Courts have jurisdiction to issue interim orders requiring a party to admit another party to premises for the purpose of preserving evidence, or property which is or may be the subject matter of the proceedings or as to which any question arises or may arise in the proceedings.
The Anton Piller orders can be requested by a Party:
- To discover and preserve evidence against the defendant which is in the possession of the defendant and it is likely to be concealed or destroyed.
- To prevent the defendant from warning others to destroy or conceal evidence.
- To reveal further damage to the applicant.
What requirements must the Applicants meet?
- Element of Urgency
Injunctions and other interlocutory orders can be issued by the Courts, on an ex-parte basis or without notice to the Respondent, provided that the applicant proves to the Court that there is an element of urgency.
In case there is no element of urgency, the Cyprus Courts do not have jurisdiction to issue any injunction or interlocutory order, without notice to the Respondent.
- Disclosure of all material facts and documents
At the ex parte hearing, the applicant, in order to obtain injunction or other interlocutory orders, has to disclose, fully and frankly all material facts, and documents, regarding the case to the Court.
- Counter- Security
The applicant is required by the Cyprus legislation to file a counter-security in order to cover all losses to be caused, to the Respondents, due to the issue of the injunctions or the interim orders, in the event that at a later stage that the Court finds that they were issued, without any reasonable cause, or mala fides. The amount of such counter-security is within the discretion of the Court.
Can the Courts in Cyprus issue worldwide interim orders?
The Supreme Court of Cyprus in 2007 empowered the Cyprus Courts to issue world-wide interim orders, provided that one of the following conditions is met:
- Either the Respondents, to whom the interim orders are addressed, are subject to the in personam jurisdiction of Cyprus Courts; or
- The assets to be blocked are within the jurisdiction of the Cyprus Courts.
For further information on interim orders, you can get in touch with our lawyers.