Cyprus: Asset Tracing In Cyprus

Last Updated: 27 July 2015
Article by Soteris Flourentzos

Even in cases in which the identity of the wrongdoer or the whereabouts of the misappropriated property is unknown, there are tools available for recovery of property, or proceeds of property, which have been misappropriated from a Cyprus company or a company managed and controlled from and in Cyprus,.

Tracing consists of the rules developed by common law to deal with situations where assets have been misappropriated and the wrongdoer is not in a position to compensate, or money compensation is not adequate. In Foskett v McKeown [2001] 1 AC 102, the House of Lords explained that "tracing" is the process of identifying a new asset as the substitute for the old. In other words, tracing identifies the traceable proceeds of the plaintiff's property, enabling a plaintiff to substitute the traceable proceeds of the original asset as the subject matter of the claim.

Asset Tracing Tools

The remedies available to victims whose assets have been misappropriated include: Norwich Parmacal orders, Bankers Trust orders, Anton-Pillar orders, Chambra orders, and the appointment of Interim Receivers. These interim relief orders are mostly done by way of ex parte applications, provided that the plaintiff can satisfy the Court that there is urgency for the ex parte issue of such an order, e.g. further alienation of the assets in question.

Obtaining Information through Norwich Parmacal & Bankers Trust Orders

Disclosure orders constitute a very powerful weapon for the tracking down and recovery of assets. This remedy is often made to Norwich Pharmacal relief, and it is available before action against third parties who have become involved in or facilitated wrongdoing by the intended defendant, however innocent their involvement may be.

The information sought must be relevant to and necessary for the plaintiff to pursue the wrongdoers. These orders are relevant in Cyprus and are frequently used to obtain information from corporate service providers relating to companies which they administer.

Cyprus Courts frequently issue also Bankers Trust orders, which is a remedy available against third parties in circumstances where a prima facie case of fraud or breach of trust has been made out and the information is required to recover, trace, or preserve assets
that are the subject of a proprietary claim.

This remedy is usually directed against the bank, at which the wrongdoers had or have their accounts, to provide information which might ordinarily be protected by the privilege of bankers' secrecy or other duty of confidentiality. In Bankers Trust v Shapira [1980] 1 WLR 1274, the order was granted in relation to bank records and was ancillary to the applicant's right to trace the missing monies. The applicant had no right against the bank itself.

Bankers Trust orders are similar to Norwich Pharmacal orders except that: (a) there is no requirement to prove any involvement in the alleged wrongdoing by the respondent; and (b) the remedy is only available where the plaintiff is tracing assets that he claims belong to him but have been taken by the defendant.

In order for an application for Bankers Trust relief to be successful, there must be strong evidence of fraud. Therefore, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that there is a good ground for thinking that the money is his money, and that there is an immediate danger of dissipation of assets.

Gagging Orders

Cyprus courts have an inherent jurisdiction to grant gagging orders to restrain a respondent against whom an ex parte disclosure order is made from communicating with the intended defendant regarding the disclosure order.

This relief is generally granted in conjunction with Norwich Pharmacal and Bankers Trust orders. Any breach of a gagging order may result in contempt proceedings.

Anton Pillar Orders

Anton Pillar orders are effectively search orders allowing persons to enter the respondent's premises to search for and remove property and preserve it as evidence pending trial. Anton Piller Search Orders may be pursued by a party so as to:-

  1. allow this party him to discover and preserve evidence against the defendant which is in the possession of the defendant and it is likely to be concealed or destroyed by the latter;
  2. identify and to obtain evidence against others who have been involved with the principal tortfeasor in the tortuous activities;
  3. prevent the defendant from warning others to destroy or conceal evidence; or
  4. unveil further ham and damage to the applicant.

Application for an Anton Pillar order is made ex parte. Due to the draconian type of the remedy, such an order is only granted where absolutely necessary and the court will ensure that the order contains sufficient safeguards to protect the person on whom the order is to be served, such as the appointment of independent lawyers to supervise the search and to specify the limits on the parameters of the search.

Securing Assets and Proceeds

Cyprus Courts have the power to grant an interim injunction to preserve assets. This enables the plaintiff to secure the assets to prevent them from being dissipated in any way pending the outcome of substantive proceedings. The application for such an order may be made ex parte at the same time as the filing of an action.

To succeed in an application for a freezing injunction (or often referred to as a Mareva injunction), the applicant must be able to demonstrate that: (i) he has a good arguable case against the defendant, (ii) the refusal of an injunction would involve a real risk that a judgment in favour of the applicant would go unsatisfied, and (iii) it is just and convenient for the injunction to be granted.

Nevertheless, as a general principle, a Mareva injunction ought not to interfere with the ordinary course of business of the defendant. It is not intended to give the plaintiff security in advance of judgment but merely to prevent the defendant from defeating the plaintiff's chances of recovery by dissipating or secreting away assets.

In determining whether it is just and convenient to grant the injunction, the court will consider factors such as the conduct of the plaintiff, the rights of any third party who may be affected and the potential hardship to the defendant.

When a freezing injunction is granted, the court will almost always require the applicant to give a cross undertaking in damages. This is intended to compensate the respondent if it is later found that the interim relief should not have been granted and the injunction has caused the respondent loss. Such an undertaking is enforced by an inquiry into what loss the respondent has suffered as a result of the injunction.

Appointment of Interim Receivers

Under Section 32 of the Courts Law 14/1960 (as amended), Cyprus Court have the power to appoint interim receivers and managers with mandate to secure and protect the relevant assets, on behalf of the party applying to appoint them, pending trial.

In order to obtain such relief, the court will have to be satisfied that the circumstances to justify a freezing order exist and that the additional protections afforded by a receivership order and any potential prejudice to the respondent can be justified in the circumstances of the case.

An interim receivership may also be granted to supplement the powers of a freezing injunction if it can be shown that the injunction is not providing adequate protection on its own.

Asset Tracing in Aid and/or in Support of Court Proceedings Pending Before Courts of Other Members States

Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, empowers the Cyprus Courts to issue any type of interim relief in aid and/or in support of proceedings to be commenced or pending before Courts of other Member States of the European Union, except Denmark.

The granting of interim measures of protection under the Regulation, is conditional on inter alia, the existence of a real connecting link, between the subject-matter of the measures sought, and the territorial jurisdiction of the contracting state of the Court, before which those measures are sought.

Therefore, all the above asset tracing tools are available in aid and/or support of proceedings to be commenced or pending before Courts of other Member States of the European Union

Asset Tracing in Aid and/or in Support of International Arbitration Proceedings

Pursuant to Section 9 of the International Commercial Arbitration Law of Cyprus, the Cyprus Courts have jurisdiction to grant interim measures of protection in aid and/or in support of international commercial arbitrations.

As such, all the above asset tracing tools are available in aid and/or support of International Arbitration (e.g. before the London Commercial International Arbitration).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.