Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 300 (Mar)
Court: Queen's Bench Division

Sir Oliver Popplewell

Representation Kelyn Bacon (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) for the Secretary of State.
  Michael Roberts (instructed by Robert Davies Partnership, Newport) for the defendant.
  Claire Staddon (instructed by Burges Salmon) for GL Ltd.
Judgment Dates: 20 March 2002


Practice - Pre or post judgment relief - Freezing order - Corporate veil - Defendant owing Secretary of State judgment debt - Secretary of State believing defendant dissipating assets to a company - Secretary of State applying for freezing order against company - Whether court entitled to pierce corporate veil - Whether order to be granted.

The Case

The principles which applied to the piercing of the corporate veil were the same in interim proceedings as at a substantive trial, namely that the court was only entitled to lift the corporate veil if the company was used as a device or a faade to conceal the true facts of a situation and to avoid or conceal the liability of the individual who lay behind the company. The court so ruled refusing the Secretary of State's application for a freezing order against a company to which the Secretary of State believed that the defendant, a judgment debtor, had dissipated his assets.

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