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Tomlin orders- what do I need to know?

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 18 January 2017

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When considering taking a matter to court, IP or otherwise, it can seem quite daunting. A main part of this is the jargon and confusing words and phrases that are only used in legal land.

It is important that you are aware of these legal words as these could be very important options for you.

Tomlin orders are an example of a potentially important option.

When a claim is made to the court for whatever reason, there is no guarantee that it will actually reach a trial. Many cases are settled before trial in an effort to save money and time.

It is important, however, for both parties that the solution reached can still be enforced if things do not run as smoothly as previously hoped

Gaining a judgment in court gives security to the ‘winning’ party allowing them to return to court and enforce the judgment given if the other side do not comply. Settling before trial may prevent this security being given.

A way to get the best of both worlds is by gaining a consent order. This is a document which outlines exactly what has been agreed and any time limits in place. This is filed to the court for consideration and approval.

A consent order has two features that need to be taken into account. Firstly, the details of the order will be made available to the public and secondly, the agreements can only be within the courts powers to order. This can be restricting and unsuitable for a number of cases.

This is where Tomlin Orders come in.

A Tomlin Order is a form of a consent order and operates in the same way, by allowing parties to reach a settlement as an alternative to continuing to trial.  This type of order has some special features which a standard consent order does not have.

Firstly, this order can contain a schedule attached where any terms that require confidentiality can be placed. These will not be made available to the public. This is hugely significant to businesses who may want to prevent competitors or current clients from accessing their previous activity. Secondly,  the order can include orders that may stretch beyond the courts powers, if it is so required.

However, there are a number of formalities that need to be clear when considering a Tomlin Order.

Some of these were updated in October 2016, therefore may be different from any previous dealing with orders you may have had before.

These formalities include:

-          The document must be titled ‘Tomlin Order’

-          Any reference to payment of money must be a part of the publicly accessed order and not the confidential schedules attached

-          There must be no time limits attached to the ending of the proceedings, meaning the order must be the conclusion to the matter

-          Both parties need to have legal representation

There is also some specific wording that must be included.

If these formalities are followed, the order will be approved by the Royal Courts of Justice.

As this is a complex matter and will require a high level of legal experience, Lawdit Solicitors can take your case off of your hands and make the process as straightforward for you as possible. Lawdit’s focus is our clients therefore every step will be taken with your best interests at heart and nothing will be put in place without your approval.

 For more information on Tomlin Orders or advice on the best step for you to take, do not hesitate to contact the specialists, Lawdit Solicitors.

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Ellis Sweetenham quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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