Can You Appeal An Undertaking? Schettini v Silvestri [2019] EWCA Civ 349


The Court of Appeal has handed down its judgment in Schettini v Silvestri [2019] EWCA Civ 349. The case raised the question whether a litigant is entitled to appeal against his own undertaking. The answer given by Lewison LJ, at [21], is as follows:

“Absent extraordinary circumstances, I would hold that a claimant who gives an undertaking (even where it is given reluctantly in order to obtain the order sought) ought not to be entitled to pursue an appeal against that undertaking. Accordingly, I consider that Mr Trompeter’s general point is a good one. A litigant in that position is, of course, entitled to apply to be released from the undertaking (either unconditionally or on condition of offering a new undertaking). I consider that we should treat this appeal as amounting to an application to be released entirely from the undertaking. But as a general rule, such an application will not result in release unless there has been a change in circumstances since the undertaking was given.”

Nicholas Trompeter (instructed by Matthew Jenkins of Hughmans Solicitors) appeared for the successful respondent.