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Key Point

Tomlin Order held to equate to a 'judgment' for the purposes of CPR 45.24

Timothy Taylor & 27 Ors v ZStage (UK) Ltd Real China Restaurant

DJ Griffith, Birmingham CC, 3rd September 2019


Between 11th -24th July 2014, around 100 people contracted salmonella poisoning when eating at the Defendant’s restaurant. 94 claims were made by 15 firms of solicitors.  All except the 28 Claimants in these proceedings were brought individually in the MOJ Portal. 


The Defendant maintained throughout that these claims too should have been brought in the Portal, and that the Claimant’s failure to do so should sound in costs, per the court’s specific powers under CPR 45.24(2) and/or under the court’s general powers per CPR 44.  The claimant argued that by lumping all these minor claims together, they were worth more than the portal upper Portal limit and together they were too complex for the portal.  Individually each claim was worth below the portal limit and all required only one expert.  Most recovered in just a few months.


The judge found that the Claimant should have brought the claims in the Portal, it was unreasonable not to do so, and thus he limited the Claimant to no more than Portal costs. 


What is particularly interesting about this case is that the claims settled before trial.  Thus there was no judgment entered as required by CPR 45.24.  Whilst the court had the alternative route to get to exactly the same result under CPR 44, per Williams v Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy [2018] EWCA Civ 852, the court found there was no need to use that route.  Instead it found that Williams did not define judgment, and that the CPRs used 'order' and 'judgment' interchangeably.  Thus he was content that the Tomlin Order was sufficient to amount to a 'judgment' for the purposes of CPR 45.24.  However, he granted the claimant permission to appeal on his interpretation of 'judgment'.  Ultimately the Claimant did not pursue their appeal.


Roger Mallalieu instructed by Irwin Mitchell for the Claimant, Sarah Robson instructed by Percy Hughes and Roberts for the Defendants.

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