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21 March 2022

Declaratory Relief and the Doctrines of Merger and Implied Obligation: Zavarco plc v Nasir [2021] EWCA Civ 1217; [2022] 2 WLR 261 [Case Note]

Peter Crampin QC

Published on e-First 21 March 2022

Abstract:
This case note discusses the 2021 decision of the English Court of Appeal in Zavarco plc v Nasir [2021] EWCA Civ 1217; [2022] 2 WLR 261, concerning the nature of a judgment to which the seldom considered doctrine of merger applies. This was the culmination of litigation referred to below as "Zavarco (No 2)". The issue in Zavarco (No 2) was whether purely declaratory relief engages the doctrine of merger, an issue which had not been considered in any earlier case. The scope of the discussion is widened to include another related doctrine, that of implied obligation, whereby a plaintiff who succeeds in obtaining an "executory" judgment (eg, a money judgment) can sue again on the judgment. The courts in Zavarco (No 2) were not invited to consider this doctrine. Had they done so, the defendant's position would have been exposed as incoherent. The matters addressed by the case note are of general interest in jurisdictions based on English common law.