Supreme Court sends yet another reminder that Court Orders must be followed


A court will sometimes issue an ‘unless order’.

Author: Nona Bowkis
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 6 years old.

Read our disclaimer keyboard_arrow_down

This website content is intended as a general guide to law as it applies to the motor trade. Lawgistics has taken every effort to ensure that the contents are as accurate and up to date as at the date of first publication.

The laws and opinions expressed within this website may be varied as the law develops. As such we cannot accept liability for or the consequence of, any change of law, or official guidelines since publication or any misuse of the information provided.

The opinions in this website are based upon the experience of the authors and it must be recognised that only the courts and recognised tribunals can interpret the law with authority.

Examples given within the website are based on the experience of the authors and centre upon issues that commonly give rise to disputes. Each situation in practice will be different and may comprise several points commented upon.

If you have any doubt about the correct legal position you should seek further legal advice from Lawgistics or a suitably qualified solicitor. We cannot accept liability for your failure to take professional advice where it should reasonably be sought by a prudent person.

All characters are fictitious and should not be taken as referring to any person living or dead.

Use of this website shall be considered acceptance of the terms of the disclaimer presented above.

A recent Supreme Court Case saw seven of the very best judges in the land consider how to deal with a party not complying with a Court Order.

A court will sometimes issue an ‘unless order’. An unless order is just as it sounds, i.e. unless you do A by a certain date, you will suffer the consequences. In this case, Thevarajah (Respondent) v Riordan and others (Appellants) [2015] UKSC 78,  one of the parties was ordered to disclose assets by way of an unless order by 1 July 2013. The party only disclosed some of their assets and so failed to fully meet the order meaning their defence was essentially thrown out.

They appealed this decision (twice) and it was overturned. The other side didn’t like that much and so themselves appealed to the Court Of Appeal who reversed the decision to overturn meaning the party were back in the position of not being allowed to submit their defence.  In response, an appeal against that decision was made to the Supreme Court who agreed with the Court of Appeal and so the defence was not allowed. I dread to think how much the legal fees were for each party as an appeal in the county court can cost a few thousand pounds and so pursuing it up to the Court of Appeal and then on to the Supreme Court could well have cost the best part of £100,000, maybe more.

A costly business and a timely reminder that if you have an Order from the court, follow it. If you don’t know what to do, contact us.   

Nona Bowkis

Legal Advisor

Read more by this author

Getting in touch

You can contact us via the form or you can call us on 01480 455500.