Law Report: Case Summaries

Article excerpt

The following notes were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Insolvency

Menzies v National Bank of Kuwait SAK; CA (Balcombe, Butler Sloss LJJ, Sir Christopher Slade); 9 Nov 1993.

Prima facie the proper plaintiff in proceedings to recover property or obtain reimbursement for the benefit of a company in liquidation was the company itself acting through its liquidator; the circumstances in which such proceedings could properly be brought in a winding up by a person other than the company or its liquidator were to be regarded as exceptions to the general statutory principle.

Richard Hacker, who did not appear (Simmons & Simmons) for the bank; the plaintiff in person.

Jurisdiction

Continental Bank NA v Aeakos Compania Naviera SA and ors; CA (Sir Stephen Brown P, Steyn, Kennedy LJJ); 10 Nov 1993.

An effect of an exclusive jurisdiction agreement which conformed with art 17 of the Brussels Convention was that art 17 took precedent over arts 21 and 22 which gave jurisdiction to the court "first seised" of the action. Where parties had entered into an agreement that the English courts should have exclusive jurisdiction over disputes and the agreement complied with art 17, the English court had power to grant an injunction to the plaintiff enjoining the defendants from pursuing foreign legal proceedings.

Barbara Dohmann QC, TAG Beazley (Constant & Constant) for the defendants; Christopher Clarke QC, Mark Hapgood (Norton Rose) for the plaintiff.

Libel

Grovit and anor v Doctor and ors; CA (Glidewell, Evans LJJ); 28 Oct 1993.

The purpose of a libel action was to enable a plaintiff to clear his name of the libel and to vindicate his character. In an action for defamation in which a plaintiff wished to achieve that end, he would also wish the action to be heard as soon as possible. If a plaintiff delayed in prosecuting such an action, and gave no valid explanation for his delay, the court was entitled to infer that his motive for the delay was not a proper one, and constituted an abuse of process.

Cherie Booth (Robin Leacock) for plaintiffs; Claire Reffin (Herbert Smith) for defendants.

Misrepresentation

Whyfe v Michael Cullen & Partners and ors; CA (Butler- Sloss, Stuart-Smith, Leggatt LJJ); 10 Nov 1993.

Where the owner of a property company and his solicitor had included in a lease so- called trick provisions the purpose of which, it was alleged, was to make the rent so uneconomic that the tenant would be obliged to surrender the lease well before the end of its term, leaving the tenant to pursue an action in negligence against his solicitors as his only remedy, a trial issue existed as to whether there had been an intent to deceive. …