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PRACTICE: If at first you don’t succeed, don’t try again?

04 October 2013  

Robert Salis and David Sawtell review estoppel and res judicata

Issue estoppel, cause of action estoppel and res judicata are often discussed but rarely defined. To a defendant, they appear to offer an attractive knock-out blow, particularly in relation to matters that they believed they had dealt with in other proceedings. However, the precise circumstances in which this plea might succeed has often evaded definition. To the prospective claimant they offer a vague warning not to keep on trying the same issues in different capacities or against other defendants. This uncertainty has been relieved by three cases this year, one from the Supreme Court and two from the Court of Appeal. It is now apparent that the courts will keep these rules within tight boundaries.


Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    Arnold v National Westminster Bank plc [1991] 2 AC 93

    Henderson v Henderson [1843] 3 Hare 100

    Johnson v Gore Wood & Co [2000] UKHL 65

    Price v Nunn [2013] EWCA Civ 1002

    Resolution Chemicals Ltd v H Lundbeck A/S [2013] EWCA Civ 924

    Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited v Zodiac Seats UK Ltd [2013] UKSC 46