Simon Bradshaw has successfully obtained an urgent interim injunction from the High Court via video link, leading to the return to their owner of two expensive fork-lifts.
Simon’s client was the hire arm of a well-known vehicle manufacturer that had hired the two fork-lifts – worth £180,000 – to a small company. The hiring company had fallen substantially into arrears but nonetheless its sole director had asked for the hire contract to be transferred to another company he ran. When the client refused this, the director informed it that he had told the hiring company to move the fork-lifts to another site (in breach of the hire contract) and to demand £13,000 in ‘storage fees’ for them despite having no legal basis to do so. The client terminated the hire but its demands for return of the fork-lifts were refused
Simon, instructed by Lane & Co of Walsall, identified that an application in the High Court under the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 for an injunction requiring delivery up of the fork lifts was a suitable remedy. He also advised that as the hiring company’s director was evidently directing the hiring company in its wrongful dealing with the client’s property, he could be included as a co-defendant to the claim as a ‘joint tortfeasor’.
Because of the client’s concern that, on the basis of their conduct so far, the hiring company and its director might take further steps to dispose of the fork-lifts if warned of the hearing, the application was sought on a ‘without notice’ basis. It was set up by video link before HHJ McCahill QC (sitting as a High Court Judge) with the Judge, Simon, and representatives from Lane & Co and the client all participating from home.
The threshold for granting an injunction without notice is a high one, but in light of the evidence, Simon was able to persuade the Judge to do so, and, given the challenges of personally serving an order during the Covid-19 pandemic, to permit service of the injunction by email. The injunction was successfully served, and in accordance with it the fork-lifts were promptly returned.
Mark Edwards, solicitor of Lane & Co, commented that “By persuading the Judge to grant an injunction with risk of penal consequences for the director himself if the fork-lifts were not returned or were disposed of, our client got much quicker cooperation than might have been the case if the claim had been only against a company that looked likely to be wound up anyway. Our client was very grateful to Simon for identifying the relevant legal principles and arguing them persuasively before the Judge. It was also impressive to see how effectively such a hearing can take place by video link even in the current circumstances.“
Simon Bradshaw accepts instructions in a wide range of civil matters, including business and property cases, and has extensive experience of obtaining injunctions. His profile is here.