Thomas Tomlin, Baron Tomlin

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Thomas James Chesshyre Tomlin, Baron Tomlin PC (6 May 1867 – 13 August 1935) was a British judge.

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians, who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.


Early life and career

Born in Canterbury, the son of a barrister, Tomlin was educated at Harrow and New College, Oxford, where he obtained a first-class degree in Jurisprudence and second-class honours in the BCL. [1] He was called to the bar by the Middle Temple (1891) and ad eundem by Lincoln's Inn (1892). He was the pupil, then the devil, of Robert Parker, until the latter was appointed to the High Court in 1906; Tomlin, whose practice had until then been a moderate one, inherited most of Parker's practice.

Canterbury Cathedral city in Kent, England

Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour.

Harrow School English independent school for boys

Harrow School is an independent boarding school for boys in Harrow, London, England. The School was founded in 1572 by John Lyon under a Royal Charter of Elizabeth I, and is one of the original seven public schools that were regulated by the Public Schools Act 1868. Harrow charges up to £12,850 per term, with three terms per academic year (2017/18). Harrow is the fourth most expensive boarding school in the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.

New College, Oxford constituent college of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom

New College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1379 by William of Wykeham, the full name of the college is St Mary's College of Winchester in Oxford. The name "New College", however, soon came to be used following its completion in 1386 to distinguish it from the older existing college of St. Mary, now known as Oriel College.

He was Junior Equity Counsel to the Board of Inland Revenue, the Board of Trade, the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, the Charity Commissioners, and the Board of Education. He took silk in 1913 and was elected a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn in 1928 [1]

Board of Trade committee of the United Kingdom Privy Council

The Board of Trade is a British government department concerned with commerce and industry, currently within the Department for International Trade. Its full title is The Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council appointed for the consideration of all matters relating to Trade and Foreign Plantations, but is commonly known as the Board of Trade, and formerly known as the Lords of Trade and Plantations or Lords of Trade, and it has been a committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom. The Board has gone through several evolutions, beginning with extensive involvement in colonial matters in the 17th Century, to powerful regulatory functions in the Victorian Era, to virtually being dormant in the last third of 20th century. In 2017, it was revitalized as an advisory board headed by the International Trade Secretary who has nominally held the title of President of the Board of Trade, and who at present is the only privy counsellor of the Board, the other members of the present Board filling roles as advisers.

Commissioners of Woods and Forests

The Commissioners of Woods, Forests and Land Revenues were established in the United Kingdom in 1810 by merging the former offices of Surveyor General of Woods, Forests, Parks, and Chases and Surveyor General of the Land Revenues of the Crown into a three-man commission. The name of the commission was changed in 1832 to the Commissioners of Woods, Forests, Land Revenues, Works and Buildings. The Crown Lands Act 1851 replaced the Commissioners with two separate commissions, the Commissioners of Works and Public Buildings and the Commissioners of Woods, Forests and Land Revenues dividing between them the public and the commercial functions of the Crown lands.

The Charity Commission for England and Wales is the non-ministerial government department that regulates registered charities in England and Wales and maintains the Central Register of Charities.

Judicial career

In 1923, Tomlin was appointed as a judge to the Chancery Division of the High Court and received the customary knighthood. As a Chancery judge, he was responsible for the creation of the eponymous Tomlin order. [1]

High Court of Justice one of the Senior Courts of England and Wales

The High Court of Justice in England is, together with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court, one of the Senior Courts of England and Wales. Its name is abbreviated as EWHC for legal citation purposes.

The dignity of Knight Bachelor is the basic and lowest rank of a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised orders of chivalry; it is a part of the British honours system. Knights Bachelor are the most ancient sort of British knight, but Knights Bachelor rank below knights of chivalric orders.

A Tomlin order is a court order in the English civil justice system under which a court action is stayed, on terms which have been agreed in advance between the parties and which are included in a schedule to the order. As such, it is a form of consent order. The order permits either party to apply to court to enforce the terms of the order, avoiding the need to start fresh proceedings. The terms of the schedule do not form part of the court order, so may remain confidential, and can include matters outside the jurisdiction of the court or the scope of the case in hand.

On 11 February 1929, he was appointed Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (without first serving on the Court of Appeal) and was created a life peer with the title Baron Tomlin, of Ash in the County of Kent, and was sworn into the Privy Council. [1]

In the United Kingdom, life peers are appointed members of the peerage whose titles cannot be inherited, in contrast to hereditary peers. In modern times, life peerages, always created at the rank of baron, are created under the Life Peerages Act 1958 and entitle the holders to seats in the House of Lords, presuming they meet qualifications such as age and citizenship. The legitimate children of a life peer are entitled to style themselves with the prefix "The Honourable", although they cannot inherit the peerage itself.

Kent County of England

Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south west. The county also shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, and with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone.

As Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, he is perhaps best remembered for his leading judgment in the Duke of Westminster's case concerning tax avoidance, in which he said:

The Duke of Westminster's case was an often cited case in tax avoidance. The full title and citation was Inland Revenue Commissioners v. Duke of Westminster [1936] A.C. 1; 19 TC 490.

Tax avoidance is the legal usage of the tax regime in a single territory to one's own advantage to reduce the amount of tax that is payable by means that are within the law. Tax sheltering is very similar, although unlike tax avoidance tax sheltering is not necessarily legal. Tax havens are jurisdictions which facilitate reduced taxes.

Every man is entitled if he can to order his affairs so that the tax attaching under the appropriate Acts is less than it otherwise would be. If he succeeds in ordering them so as to secure this result, then, however unappreciative the Commissioners of Inland Revenue or his fellow tax-payers may be of his ingenuity, he cannot be compelled to pay an increased tax. [2]

In addition to his judicial work, Tomlin served on a number of committees. He chaired the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors between 1923 and 1933. He was also the chairman of the Child Adoption Committee, the University of London Commissioners, the Home Office advisory committee on the Cruelty to Animals Act, and the Royal Commission on the Civil Service. [1]

Personal life

He married Marion Olivia Waterfield in 1893; they had two daughters and three sons, the youngest of whom was the sculptor Stephen Tomlin. [1]

Important judgments

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Lord Millett. "Tomlin, Thomas James Chesshyre, Baron Tomlin (1867–1935)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/36531.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. Inland Revenue Commissioners v. Duke of Westminster [1936] AC 1