The importance of this decision relates to the question of whether or not the enforcement of an obligation contained within a settlement agreement in the schedule to a Tomlin Order is subject to the usual six-year time-limit for an action founded on simple contract. The judge outlined that there was no decisive authority on this point, but he considered Sir Andrew Morritt VC in The Bargain Pages Ltd v Midland Independent Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 1887, to be correct in considering that the Limitation Act 1980 was potentially applicable to a settlement scheduled to a Tomlin Order, which remained a simple contract for the purposes of limitation. While the judge considered that when an order is sought for enforcement in such a manner, this can be described as the enforcement of the court’s own order, the substance of an application such as in this case was to enforce a contractual right. As such, it would be somewhat surprising if simply scheduling those rights to a Tomlin Order would serve to remove the applicability of the Limitation Act entirely.
This article was first published by Lexis®PSL on 13 March 2019.