Brink’s Mat Ltd v Noye: CA 1991

The proceeds of the theft of gold bullion from a warehouse owned by the plaintiffs were laundered through the bank account of a company called Scadlynn Ltd with Barclays Bank. The directors and sole shareholders of Scadlynn were signatories of the account and drew cheques on it for cash totalling nearly andpound;8m over four months. The plaintiffs sought to enforce rights which Scadlynn was said to possess against the bank in consequence of the payments out of its account. The court was asked whether the pleading should be permitted, raising in turn the question, among others, whether it was open to Scadlynn to sue the bank in respect of withdrawals made or authorised by the company’s sole directors and shareholders.
Held: there was no reason why Scadlynn, which was being put into compulsory liquidation, should be prevented from enforcing such a claim for the benefit of the creditors who would look to the assets for the satisfaction of their debts.
Nicholls LJ described the existence of the directors’ fiduciary duties to the company as a means by which the law sought to protect the company’s creditors.
Mustill LJ rightly described Scadlyn as being an intended victim of arrangements intended dishonestly to deprive it of a large part of its assets and Nicholls LJ agreed with him.


Mustill and Nicholls LJJ and Sir Roualeyn Cumming-Bruce


[1991] 1 Bank LR 68


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedJetivia Sa and Another v Bilta (UK) Ltd and Others SC 22-Apr-2015
The liquidators of Bilta had brought proceedings against former directors and the appellant alleging that they were party to an unlawful means conspiracy which had damaged the company by engaging in a carousel fraud with carbon credits. On the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Banking, Company

Updated: 20 May 2022; Ref: scu.566002