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Enforcement of Tomlin order is subject to six year limitation period

In the recent case of Bostani and others v Pieper and another [2019] EWHC 547 (Comm) (4 March 2019) the Commercial Court has held that the enforcement of a Tomlin Order is subject to the Limitation Act 1980.  Consequently any claim application to enforce the terms of a Tomlin order and to enter judgment must be brought within the six year limitation period in the same way as an action founded on a simple contract.

In this case the claimants applied to enter judgment against the defendants pursuant to the terms of a Tomlin order which provided that if D failed to make any of the payments due under the order, the Claimant was entitled to obtain judgment in its favour. The order gave the parties the right to apply to court to enforce its terms without the need for a new claim.  The Defendant argued that the claimant’s application was out of time.

The Judge held that as such an application was to enforce contractual rights there was no reason why the limitation period should not apply to the exercise of that right which arose in consequence of that breach and concluded that time started running when the right to enforce the order arose and stopped when the application to enforce the order was made (not when such an application was decided).

This appears to have been the first authority on whether the enforcement of a Tomlin order is subject to the Limitation Act 1980 and the decision helpfully provides helpful clarification on this point.  Litigants should take note that, although fresh proceedings may not be required to enforce a Tomlin order, the right to do so does exist forever.

Posted on 28 March, 2019 by Ortolan

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