1. In suit No. 213 of 1900 the plaintiffs, who are defendants to the present suit, sued the plaintiffs in the present suit for dissolution of partnership. Among the terms and conditions of the partnership as set out in the plaint (and apparently not denied by defendants in that suit) are the following : That 'the defendants should work in the business as working partners for a period of five years, but that should during the said' period disputes arise between the parties or only a small profit 'be returned, then the plaintiffs should have the option of dissolving the partnership'. In this suit the defendants (the present plaintiffs) raised the following plea:
Defendants submit that this suit should be dismissed with' costs, or if the court is of opinion that the partnership ought not 'to continue, plaintiffs be ordered to pay the defendants in addition to their share of the profits already earned damages for the' unexpired portion of the said period of 5 years calculated on 'the said profits.'
2. When the suit came on for settlement of issues, the defendants (present plaintiffs) did not ask for an issue as to whether the plaintiffs were entitled to a decree for dissolution and an order of reference to chambers was made kuorder that the accounts of the partnership might be taken. This order of reference was made by consent, and, as it seems to us, amounts to an adjudication that, on the terms of the partnership agreement and in the event which had happened, the plaintiffs were entitled to a decree for dissolution. It also, as it seems to us, amounts to an adjudication on the question of the right of the plaintiffs in the present suit to damages for the unexpired period of 5 years. If a state of things had arisen which entitled the plaintiffs in the former suit under the terms of the partnership agreement to have the partnership dissolved, it necessarily follows that the defendants in that suit were not entitled to recover damages in respect of the period during which the partnership would have gone on if events had not happened which entitled the plaintiffs to have the partnership 3 dissolved before the expiration of the period.
3. It seems to us that the order of reference to chambers is an adjudication by consent on the question of the right of the plaintiffs in that suit to a decree for dissolution and on the right of the defendants in that suit (the present plaintiffs) to damages.
4. We think the claim in the present suit is res judicata.
5. The appeal is dismissed with costs.