You have to admire the British ability to tell it like it is. Late in 2010, the English equivalent to our SEC shut down, and froze the assets of, several fly-by-night operators. Barclays Bank, which held these assets, went to court over it. It argued that, as an innocent party, it should be compensated for the losses it incurred at the result of the assets being frozen.
The UK Supreme Court said no. It’s not that is it thought Barclays anything short of innocent of its account-holders’ shenanigans. It simply held that there is no duty to indemnify those affected by the otherwise lawful actions of the state. It’s good to be king.
American law has evolved separately from the English source from which it sprung in the 18th Century. Yet common bonds remain. Judicial orders to freeze assets are injunctions – court orders prohibiting a given action (in this case, prohibiting access to assets). And in the U.S. as in the U.K., there are several kinds of injunctions subject to different rules depending on a multiplicity of factors. And this matters. Sometimes, a temporary injunction can all but decide a case. Maintaining the status quo on the long road to trial, which those orders often do, routinely forces a settlement.
This makes injunctions yet one more iceberg to navigate in legal waters.