Unless you’ve been living on a desert island for the past few weeks, you will be aware of the “super” injunction banning the naming of a celebrity involved in an alleged extra-marital relationship.
On 18 April, the Court of Appeal accepted the Sun On Sunday's bid to lift the injunction, but said the celebrity could still not be named pending a possible appeal. On 19 May, the Supreme Court ruled that the injunction should stay in place so naming the celebrity is still banned in England and Wales.
Over recent years, so-called “super” injunctions have been sought by celebrities to protect their privacy, preventing stories about their private lives becoming public. Some have been successful; some have not been with social media playing its part in naming some celebrities notwithstanding the injunction.
Injunctions, however, are not just used to protect a celebrity’s private life but can be a key tool in the arsenal of any business in protecting its legitimate business interests.
Whether an injunction is appropriate depends on the circumstances of your particular case and various factors relevant to the court. However, an injunction could protect your confidential information and prevent it from being used against you or prevent unlawful competition by a former director or employee. Injunctions can be obtained to protect property interests, prevent trespass and protect intellectual property rights. They can also be used in certain circumstances to freeze or seize assets.
A factor which makes injunctions appealing is that the court has wide powers to enforce such an order in the event of disobedience or breach. Enforcement could include prison, seizure of assets and/or fines.
Geldards has considerable experience in obtaining injunctive relief on behalf of clients. We recently applied for an injunction on behalf of a major healthcare provider to prevent the use and dissemination of confidential information and in relation to breach of restrictive covenants in an employment contract. However, we were able to negotiate a settlement without the need to have a court hearing. We have also recently successfully defended a similar application for a separate individual client.
If you are concerned that your businesses’ rights have been infringed and need protecting, or you are faced with an application for an injunction speak to our commercial dispute resolution team. Even if an injunction isn’t appropriate, they could help you resolve the dispute that may be brewing.
For more information on this subject, please contact Michael Evans.