Litigation Letter

Inspection by third party

L’Oreal SA and others v eBay International and others [2008] EWHC B13 Ch D

Under a Tomlin order, the terms on which it has been agreed to stay proceedings are not set out in the order itself, but in a schedule to it. The agreed terms are not therefore enforceable as an order of the court and are usually made on the basis that the order is subject to a duty of confidentiality between the parties. However, the court at its discretion may order that a third party may inspect the schedule. In the present case, in an application under CPR 5.4B(1), eBay requested inspection of settlement agreements between the claimant and other defendants contained in schedules to Tomlin orders on the grounds that it was necessary that eBay should be able to see the basis on which the claims had been settled as the other defendants were joint tortfeasors and the release of a joint tortfeasor would release another joint tortfeasor unless their right to continue to pursue them had been preserved. The claimants contended they were bound by confidentiality, which the court should not order them to breach by allowing inspection of the schedules.

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