CASE SUMMARIES 4 September 1995

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

Judgment

Clarke v Smith; CA (Neill, Swinton Thomas LJJ) 4 July 1995

It was important to bear in mind that a judgment, however carefully prepared, was not to be read like an Act of Parliament. The relevant parts of the judgment should be considered as a whole and against the background of the proved or admitted facts. Where, therefore, an appellant relied on an inconsistency between one sentence in which the judge below appeared to find in his favour, and the judge's ultimate conclusion in favour of the opposing party, the appeal court was entitled to construe the sentence concerned in a manner more consistent with the import of the judgment as a whole.

Graham Sinclair (Norton Peskett & Forward, Suffolk) for the appellant; Mrs Clarke in person.

Practice

Industrie Chimiche Italia Centrale & anr v Alexander G Tzavliris & Sons Maritime Co & ors; QBD (Mance J) 19 July 1995

Under RSC Ord 15, r 7 the court could permit a party to an action to be substituted by another to whom his interest or liability had been transferred notwithstanding that the limitation period had already expired, provided the action had been begun within the relevant period. The underlying rationale of limitation periods, to protect against stale claims which should have been brought earlier, had no application to this type of case.

Steven Gee, Vasanti Selvaratnam (Clyde & Co) for the plaintiffs; J. Franklin Willmer QC, Sarah Miller (Holman Fenwick & Willan) for the first and second defendants; Stephen Tomlinson QC, Stephen Kenney (Hill Taylor Dickinson) for the third defendants.

Solicitor

Re a solicitor; ChD (Robert Walker J) 31 July 1995

Under Sch 1, para 6 to the Solicitors Act 1974, the council of the Law Society could on intervention pass a resolution under which a solicitor's clients' funds vested in the society, to be held and applied as provided in paras 6 and 7. The society must then serve on the solicitor a certified copy of the resolution and an accompanying prohibition notice. Paragraph 6(4) (as amended) provided that within eight days of service of the notice, the solicitor might apply to the High Court for an order directing the society to withdraw the notice; but para 6(4) did not confer on the court an implied power to extend the eight-day period for issuing an originating summons.

Hedley Marten (Arnold Roger & Co) for the plaintiff; Philip Lehain (Law Society) for the society.

Stamp Duty

Peter Bone Ltd v Inland Revenue Commrs; ChD (Vinelott J) 27 July 1995

Stamp duty was payable on a deed giving effect to an agreement for the sale of land, which was held by the vendors as nominees for the purchaser. The land was later sold on and conveyed to a third party. The purchaser, a company owned by the vendors, claimed the agreement was an uncompleted contract for sale on which duty was not payable. But the court held this agreement to be a "conveyance on sale" of an equitable interest within s 54 of the Stamp Act 1891, completed according to its terms on the day the deed was executed.

Philip Baker (Pictons, St Albans) for the taxpayer; Michael Furness (Inland Revenue) for the Crown.

Tax

Inland Revenue Commrs v Reed Intl plc; CA (Nourse, Beldam, Evans LJJ) 20 July 1995

Amendments to an "executive share option scheme" made on the merger of the Reed International Group with a Dutch company merely varied existing option rights. The amended scheme did not confer new rights on the option holders and therefore remained a scheme "approved" by the Inland Revenue, so that options would be chargeable to capital gains tax if and when the shares were disposed of, rather than to income tax when the options were exercised. But another scheme for employees, which was savings related, was no longer an approved scheme after amendment because the grantor of the options, Reed, did not control the employer companies after the merger.

Andrew Park QC (Freshfields) for the taxpayer; Alan Moses QC, Launcelot Henderson QC (Inland Revenue) for the Crown.

Inland Revenue Commrs v Quigley; Ct Sess (Inner House) (Lord President Hope, Lord Allanbridge, Lord Clyde) 16 June 1995

An employee of the Forestry Commission who was provided with a car for business and private use, which was a taxable benefit under s 157(1) of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988, but who was required to pay an amount towards private use and to pay to insure the vehicle, was not able to deduct the cost of insurance from the amount chargeable to tax in respect of the benefit. The payment was to insure the car, not for its use within para 4 of Sch 6 to the 1988 Act.

P.S. Hodge (Inland Revenue) for the Crown; Colin Tyre (W. & J. Burness WS) for the taxpayer.

CORRECTION: The judgment of the Court of Appeal in Middleton v Wiggins (Law Report, 31 August) was given on 14 June 1995.

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