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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
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Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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We are a UK based media production company owed a substantial

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We are a UK based media production company owed a substantial amount (£250K+) by a company based in Mauritius and my question is two fold:
1) can we get an injunction to stop them from using another production company while they owe us the money
2) can we exercise a lean over any intellectual property/equity which they own until the debt is settled?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
Good evening. My name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. 1. You could not stop another company entering into a business arrangement with the debtor; a UK court would not interfere in such a business relationship between such third parties. 2. You could in principle exercise a lien over any property that you have possession or control over. For example, if you manage a website or any other form of media, you could decide to suspend any activity until the debt is paid or a suitable arrangement is made. I am happy to discuss further if required.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alice,Thank you for the advise provided so far, could you outline the process which I need to undertake in order to exercise a lien over a a hard drive which is in our procession and which contains all the programming elements for our clients TV program and format.Do we notify them - what is the process?Thanks
Clem
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
Good morning. Yes, of course - I will type an answer and post it here shortly.
Expert:  Alice H replied 1 year ago.
A lien is a claim over somebody else's property as security for a debt.
In the UK, unlike other jurisdictions such as the U.S.A., for example, it is not necessary to obtain a court order to exercise a lien as the right arises in common law. Simple examples regularly cited are where a mechanic carried out work in a car but has the right to retain the vehicle until his bill is settled or a solicitor retains a client's papers until he is paid.
Similarly if you can demonstrate that a debt exists then you can exercise a lien over the hard drive until the debt is settled.
There is no set procedure in law for informing a debtor that a lien is being exercised - but in my view the debtor should be informed in very clear terms that a) a debt is outstanding and payment must be made forthwith in settlement b) until such payment is made you will exercise a lien over the hard drive, which means that you will not release or allow access to it until the debt is settled in full.
If you have not already done so you should also consider starting proceedings for recovery of the monies due. I am assuming you're based in England and the work was done here in which case you could commence proceedings in the Commercial Court in London and if you secure judgment against the company you could then look to enforce it against any property they own.
It should also be noted that the UK has a reciprocal arrangement with Mauritius for the enforcement of judgments which means that if you do obtain judgment in the Commercial Court you could then apply to enforce it against the debtor in their home country which is often a very effective method.