Law Report: Case Summaries

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


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.


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.


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.


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.

Stephen Miller QC, Roger Evans (Clifton Ingram, Wokingham) for the appellants; Nicholas Le Poidevin (Colemans, Maidenhead) for the third and fourth defendants; David Hodge (Barlow Lyde & Gilbert) for the fifth defendant.


Re F(minors); CA (Nourse LJ, Thorpe J); 19 Nov 1993.

In a case where the parties, who were not married, had separated and the mother was living in unsuitable accommodation with the father's young twins while the father occupied the home where they were joint tenants, neither the specific issue order provisions of s 8 of the Children Act 1989 nor the inherent jurisdiction of the court to grant injunctions enabled an order to be made to oust the father and interfere with his occupation.

Rosina Hare QC (Leslie Oliver & Co) for the mother; Paul Coleridge QC, Giles Powell (Bruce Webber & Co, Chiswick) for the father.


R v Law Society, Ex p Curtin; CA (Russell, McCowan, Steyn LJJ); 24 Nov 1993.

S 79 of the Solicitors Act 1974 as substituted by s 97 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, which empowered the Council of the Law Society to delegate the exercise of its functions, did not impose a duty on the council to familiarise itself with the identity of the person who was to discharge the council's function.

Sydney Kentridge QC, Richard Gordon (Arnold Rosen) for the applicant; Jonathan Harvie QC, Javan Herberg (Charles Russell) for the Law Society.

Value added tax

Customs and Excise Commissioners v Kingfisher plc; QBD (Popplewell J); 25 Nov.

Where a group of companies accounted for VAT through a representative member of the group, the group was treated generally as a single taxable person. The effect of a group registration was not limited to supplies made by one member of the group to another.

Nigel Pleming QC (Customs & Excise Solicitor) for the Crown; David Milne QC, Andrew Hitchmough (Lovell White Durrant) for Kingfisher.