Specialist Group International Ltd v Deakin and Another: CA 23 May 2001

Law upon res judicata – action estoppel and issue estoppel and the underlying policy interest whereby there is finality in litigation and litigants are not vexed twice on the same matter.
(May LJ) ‘the authorities taken as a whole tend to encourage elaborate technical submissions which many percipient non-lawyers would scarcely understand. Cause of action estoppel and issue estoppel are not readily understandable phrases to a non-lawyer. It should not be necessary to have to pick for hours over the precise text of a dozen or so law reports to find out what in the end is reasonably straightforward and understandable law capable of being simply expressed. I would try to express it simply as follows.
If a claim has been explicitly determined in previous concluded proceedings between the same parties, that claim cannot be raised again, other than on an appeal, unless there is fraud or collusion. If a necessary element of a claim has been explicitly determined in previous concluded proceedings between the same parties, that issue cannot be raised again, if, as is likely but not inevitable, it would be an abuse to raise that issue again. This may also extend to an implicitly necessary element of the previous determination. The previous determination may include a settlement. If a claim or issue has not been determined in previous concluded proceedings between the same parties, there may nevertheless be circumstances in which, as a matter of public and private interest on a broad merits-based procedural judgment, it would be an abuse for a party to raise that claim or issue. Such circumstances may depending on the facts, exist where the litigant could and should have raised the matter in question in earlier concluded proceedings. There may in particular cases be other elements of abuse, including oppression of another party: but abuse of process is a concept which defies precise definition in the abstract. The court will only stop a claim as an abuse after most careful consideration.’


Lord Justice Aldous And Lord Justice May


[2001] EWCA Civ 777




England and Wales


CitedMills v Cooper QBD 1967
Two sets of criminal proceedings were brought against the defendant for offences under section 127 of the Highways Act 1959 namely that of being a gypsy and, without lawful excuse, camping on a highway. The first proceedings were brought in respect . .
CitedHunter v Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police HL 19-Nov-1981
No collateral attack on Jury findigs.
An attempt was made to open up in a civil action, allegations of assaults by the police prior to the making of confessions which had been disposed of in a voir dire in the course of a criminal trial. The plaintiffs had imprisoned having spent many . .
CitedJohnson v Gore Wood and Co HL 14-Dec-2000
Shareholder May Sue for Additional Personal Losses
A company brought a claim of negligence against its solicitors, and, after that claim was settled, the company’s owner brought a separate claim in respect of the same subject-matter.
Held: It need not be an abuse of the court for a shareholder . .
CitedArnold v National Westminster Bank Plc HL 1991
Tenants invited the court to construe the terms of a rent review provision in the sub-underlease under which they held premises. The provision had been construed in a sense adverse to them in earlier proceedings before Walton J, but they had been . .
CitedBradford and Bingley Building Society v Seddon and Hancock; Walsh and Rhodes (Trading As Hancocks (a Firm) CA 11-Mar-1999
There was an unsatisfied judgment on a claim by a defendant in an earlier action against a third party. In a subsequent action against the defendant the latter issued third party proceedings against the original and different third parties.
CitedKirin Amgen Inc v Boehringer Mannheim GmbH 1997
. .

Cited by:

CitedSweetman v Nathan and others CA 25-Jul-2003
The claimant had been engaged with his solicitor in a fraudulent land transaction. He now sought to sue the solicitor for negligence. The solicitor replied that the claimant was unable to rely upon his own unlawful act to make a claim.
Held: . .
See AlsoDeakin and Others v Faulding and Others; Specialist Group International Ltd v Deakin and Others; etc ChD 31-Jul-2001
Directors of a company authorised payment of bonuses, but the power to do so lay with the shareholders, not the directors. However, the beneficial owner of a share held for him by a nominee could give assent to a motion of the company at a general . .
CitedMatalan Retail Ltd v Revenue and Customs ChD 5-Aug-2009
The taxpayer imported swimwear for sale. The respondent had incorrectly indicated that such swimwear had one classification. The claimant sought to prevent the respondent reclassifying the goods, saying that they had made given binding tariff . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 06 June 2022; Ref: scu.177323