12 months' imprisonment for breach of disclosure order

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On 17 May 2017, the English Court handed down a 12 month prison sentence against an individual, Mrs Sandhu, for repeated breach of a disclosure order in Kimyani v Sandhu [2017] EWHC 1302 (Ch).

Mrs Sandhu's siblings had obtained a freezing injunction against her in support of proceedings relating to the estate of their mother. The freezing injunction contained a disclosure order which obliged Mrs Sandhu to disclose all of her assets worldwide over £1,000.

Mrs Sandhu accepted that she was in breach of the disclosure order. She also continued to provide conflicting versions of events to the court and had continued to fail fully to comply with the obligations of the order. Newey J made it clear that, notwithstanding the Respondent's repeated failings, she could have substantially mitigated her misconduct by finally providing an "accurate and frank account of events"1, which she did not do. Following Eder J in JSC BTA Bank v Solodchenko & Ors (No. 2)2, he also outlined that the court may be willing to remit up to half of the Respondent's sentence following "prompt and full compliance [with the order]"3.

This is the second reported case so far this year of the English Court making a committal order for failure to comply with a disclosure order related to a freezing order, the earlier case published on 27 January 2017being against a director and shareholder of a company based in China. This demonstrates that the court will likely be willing to afford parties repeat opportunities to comply with the disclosure orders that it makes, but that it will not hesitate to use a custodial sentence to ensure compliance.


1 Paragraph 29 of the Judgment.
2 [2011] EWCA Civ 1241.
3 Paragraph 40 of the Judgment.
4 "Prison sentence for avoiding English freezing and disclosure order", Feb 2017.