Liechtenstein - Attachment of Assets
Christoph Bruckschweiger, LL.M., Ritter & Wohlwend Advokaturbureau
Originally from Attachment of Assets
1. What is the general nature and effect of judicial measures available for plaintiffs to obtain provisional relief affecting property of debtors to obtain security for judgments to be obtained (“attachments”)? Freezing property in place? Placing it in the custody of a third party, such as a Court official, sheriff or marshal?
In Liechtenstein (being a civil law jurisdiction) the Exekutionsordnung (Execution-Order, EO), LGBl. 1972 Nr. 32, provides the legal basis for any steps to attach debtor’s assets. The type of relief depends on the type of the creditor’s claim. In case of pecuniary claims the creditor asks the Court to grant a relief (Sicherungsbot; Art. 274 EO) ordering the debtor or a garnishee not to dispose of assets under control of the latter. This will result in a freezing of assets. A part from pecuniary claims almost any other right may be secured by a Court order (Amtsbefehl, Art. 276 EO) Attachment of assets is usually carried out by a Court interdiction to the debtor or the garnishee to dispose of the assets. Other possibilities are to request a Court order to prohibit alienation of moveable assets or a relief ordering distress or Court custody. Furthermore, it has to be noted that according to Liechtenstein Law all measures taken by a creditor to obtain security for judgments to be obtained are orders in rem. Therefore, the creditor has to know if there are any assets belonging to the debtor and has to know their whereabouts. Only those assets can be targeted successfully.
2. What is the form of the attachment? Injunction? Other kind of judicial order? Specify.
Attachments are effectuated in case of debtor’s assets by a Court order maintaining a present state together with the interdiction to dispose of the attached assets. It can be best translated as an injunction. Such an injunction may be sought at any time, before or during litigation. Usually creditors use the injunction to secure the success of a lawsuit. If the necessity for an injunction arises during a pending lawsuit (the debtor is trying to bring his assets abroad), plaintiff may ask the Court to issue such injunction.