Philip Hinks and William Day were instructed by the Enforcement and Market Oversight Division of the Financial Conduct Authority (the ‘FCA’) to seek a freezing order and interim prohibitory injunction against 24 Hour Trading Academy Limited (‘24HTA’) and its director Mr Maricar on short notice.
24 Hour Trading Academy and its director Mr Maricar are the subject of an FCA investigation for conducting regulated activities under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (‘FSMA’) without authorisation.
Mr Justice Mann, hearing the matter remotely, ruled that the FCA had a good arguable case for a restitution order under section 382 of FSMA and that there was a real risk of dissipation of assets by virtue of Mr Maricar’s conduct. He also granted an interim prohibitory injunction under section 380 of FSMA on the basis that recent social media posts suggested that Mr Maricar was resuming or continuing his previous business activity.
Various aspects of the application had to be adapted to deal with current Covid-19 restrictions:
- The evidence supporting the application was given by witness statement rather than affidavit, with the FCA giving an undertaking to swear affidavits confirming that evidence as soon as reasonably practicable.
- For similar reasons, the requirement on the Respondents to provide information as to their assets was adapted, with directions for the service of a witness statement rather than the swearing of an affidavit.
- As personal service is currently difficult, the order provided for service by alternative means, namely email, text message and WhatsApp.
- All parties and the Court operated from an electronic bookmarked and paginated PDF bundle, which was supplemented by a short further clip of documents provided to the judge’s clerk before the hearing (containing documents that would normally be ‘handed up’ during a physical hearing).
In other respects, the application proceeded as normal, with the Court making directions for a return date next week. The hearing was in public, with press in attendance.