The lengthy fight by a group of former Esso licensees who felt they had been seriously wronged by the oil major, finally ground to a halt last month when the appeal against an earlier judgement in Esso’s favour was dismissed.

The much-publicised case, which, in its original trial covered three main issues –Tiger Tokens; margins, fees and allowances; and hot fuel – saw more than 100 former Esso retailers determined to seek justice and recompense for the problems which occurred when they ran Esso forecourts in the mid-90s. After many delays the two-month trial finally started in February 2003. When judgement arrived in July 2003 in favour of Esso, it devastated all the retailers involved.

A diminished group fought on, but last month three appeal court judges decided the original judgement had been correct. Now retailers are awaiting news of costs which have still to be awarded.