Case details

Convoy Collateral Ltd (Appellant) v Broad Idea (Respondent) (British Virgin Islands)

Case ID: JCPC 2020/0073

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal British Virgin Islands

Case summary

Issue

A ‘freezing order’ is an interim or provisional order of the court restraining the party against whom it is granted from disposing of or dealing with, the party’s assets.
The main issues in this appeal are:
(i) whether the BVI court has jurisdiction and/or power to grant a freezing order where the respondent is a person against whom no cause of action has arisen, and against whom no substantive proceedings are pursued, in the BVI or elsewhere, and if so
(ii) whether any such jurisdiction and/or power extends to the granting of a freezing order in support of proceedings to which that person is not a party.

Facts

Broad Idea is a company incorporated in the BVI. Dr. Cho is a shareholder and director of Broad Idea. In February 2018, Convoy applied to the BVI court for freezing orders against Broad Idea and Dr. Cho in support of anticipated proceedings against Dr Cho in Hong Kong. Convoy also sought permission to serve Dr. Cho out of the jurisdiction. Following a hearing held without notice to Broad Idea and Dr. Cho, the BVI court granted freezing orders restraining them from disposing of or diminishing the value of certain of their respective assets and gave permission to serve Dr. Cho out of the jurisdiction. Convoy commenced proceedings against Dr. Cho (but not Broad Idea) in Hong Kong shortly thereafter. The freezing orders issued against Dr. Cho by the BVI court and the order granting permission to serve Dr Cho out of the jurisdiction were subsequently set aside in April 2019 on the basis that the court did not have jurisdiction to make them. In the meantime, Convoy had made a further application for a freezing order against Broad Idea in support of the Hong Kong proceedings against Dr. Cho.

In July 2019, the judge continued the freezing order against Broad Idea indefinitely on the basis that the principle enunciated in TSB Private Bank International SA v Chabra [1992] 2 All ER 245 applied in the circumstances and that Broad Idea’s assets were at risk of dissipation. Broad Idea’s appeal against the judge’s decision was allowed by the Court of Appeal. Convoy now appeals to the JCPC.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Convoy Collateral Ltd

Respondent(s)

Broad Idea

Appeal

Justices

Lord Reed, Lord Hodge, Lord Briggs, Lord Hamblen, Lord Leggatt, Sir Geoffrey Vos

Hearing start date

16 Feb 2021

Hearing finish date

16 Feb 2021

Watch hearing
16 Feb 2021 Morning session Afternoon session
17 Feb 2021 Morning session Afternoon session