Court orders law firm to freeze client’s bank account

BY CHARLES LAITON

THE High Court has ordered a local law firm, G N Mlotshwa and Company Legal Practitioners to freeze its client, A F Phillips and Company (Pvt) Ltd’s bank account to enable FBC Bank to finalise its legal battle with the company.

The court order came after FBC Bank sought a garnishee order from the court to recover US$1 141 260,36 from A F Phillips and Company, whose funds are currently held in G N Mlotshwa and Company law firm’s trust account.

“Whereupon after reading documents filed of record and hearing counsel, it is ordered by consent that the first respondent be and is hereby interdicted from dissipating, disposing or distributing the funds it is holding for and on behalf of the second respondent in trust until the final determination of garnishee proceedings between the applicant and respondents under HC2097/19,” High Court judge Justice Mary Zimba-Dube ruled.

In its founding affidavit, FBC Bank said sometime in March 2016, it obtained a court order against A F Phillips and Company together with the latter’s co-debtors under case number HC 377/15. The bank further said the granted court order was, inter alia, for the payment of US$1 141 260,36 together with interest thereon at the prescribed rate of 35% per annum calculated from April 1, 2014 to the date of payment in full plus legal costs.

However, since the granting of the court order, the bank said A F Phillips and its co-debtors have not complied with the judgment, hence the decision to petition the court for a garnishee order.

“It is against this background that the applicant (FBC Bank) seeks a garnishee order against the second respondent (A F Phillips and Company) to recover the sum owed to it by the first respondent (G N Mlotshwa and Company Legal Practitioners) … the first respondent should, therefore, show cause why funds held in trust by the second respondent should not be attached in satisfaction of the debt,” the bank said.

When the matter was brought before Justice Zimba-Dube, the parties consented to the granting of the sought court order.

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