Bristol Airport Plc and Another v Powdrill and Others: CA 21 Dec 1989

An airline company went into administration. The airport seized two airplanes. The administrators claimed they were property within the administration, could not be seized without a court order, and the court should exercise its discretion not to allow seizure.
Held: The definition of property in the 1982 Act was wide enough to include leased property. The planes were capable of being seized to create a lien. The exercising of a lien was taking action to enforce a security, and therefore required the court’s consent. The court had correctly exercised its discretion not to allow seizure to allow the orderly conduct of the administration of the company.
Sir Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson VC said: ‘Although a chattel lease is a contract, it does not follow that no property lease is created in the chattel. The basic equitable principle is that if, under a contract, A has certain rights over property as against the legal owner, which rights are specifically enforceable in equity, A has an equitable interest in such property. I have no doubt that a court would order specific performance of a contract to lease an aircraft, since each aircraft has unique features peculiar to itself. Accordingly in my judgment the ‘lessee’ has at least an equitable right of some kind in that aircraft which falls within the statutory definition as being some ‘description of interest … arising out of, or incidental to’ that aircraft.’
Sir Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson VC, Woolf and Staughton L.JJ.
[1990] 2 WLR 1362, [1990] Ch 744, [1990] BCLC 585
lip
Civil Aviation Act 1982 88(1), Insolvency Act 1986 11(3)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedAir Ecosse Ltd v Civil Aviation Authority OHCS 1987
. .
CitedChannel Airways Ltd v Manchester Corporation 1974
There are many species of lien which do not depend on possession, including for example certain equitable liens. The statutory right of detention but conferred by a Private Act was not strictly a lien. . .
CitedHavelet Leasing Ltd v Cardiff-Wales Airport Ltd 29-Jun-1988
In order to exercise the statutory power of detention of an aircraft, the airport had to do some overt act evidencing the act of detention. Detention by an airport authority must be begun by some overt act. Such act need take no particular form. A . .
CitedQuazi v Quazi HL 1979
The husband had pronounced a talaq in Pakistan, in accordance with the 1961 Muslim Family Ordinance. The question was whether the English court had jurisdiction on the wife’s petition to dissolve the marriage and make consequential orders relating . .
CitedCorps v Owners of the Paddle Steamer ‘The Queen of the South’ 1968
Among the peope who might intervene on a ship’s arrest are the harbour authority itself claiming statutory rights of detention and sale. . .
CitedSmith (a bankrupt) v Braintree District Council HL 1989
The House considered the effects of bankruptcy on the imposition of a committal to imprisonment in default of paying rates.
The purpose of section 285 is to preserve the estate of the bankrupt for the benefit of his unsecured creditors.
Cited by:
AppliedAIG Europe S A v QBE International Insurance Ltd ComC 3-May-2001
A re-insurance contract incorporated terms from the main contract. When asked to construe the incorporation of a clause granting exclusive jurisdiction. In doing so, it was held, that under the Brussels Convention the court had to look to the . .
CitedCommissioners of Inland Revenue v The Wimbledon Football Club Limited, Ellis, Earp CA 28-May-2004
The Commissioners appealed against a refusal of their application for a revocation of the defendant’s voluntary arrangement in that it had failed to comply with section 4. They complained that the arrangement was unfair to them. It had been agreed . .
CitedETI Euro Telecom International Nv v Republic of Bolivia and Another CA 28-Jul-2008
The parties were involved in an international investment dispute arbitration. An injunction had been sought to prevent repatriation of assets to Bolivia.
Held: The international system of arbitration was not subject to any national law and did . .
CitedAkers and Others v Samba Financial Group SC 1-Feb-2017
Saad Investments was a Cayman Islands company in liquidation. The liquidator brought an action here, but the defendant sought a stay saying that another forum was clearly more appropriate. Shares in Saudi banks were said to be held in trust for the . .
CitedAkers and Others v Samba Financial Group SC 1-Feb-2017
Saad Investments was a Cayman Islands company in liquidation. The liquidator brought an action here, but the defendant sought a stay saying that another forum was clearly more appropriate. Shares in Saudi banks were said to be held in trust for the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 09 February 2021; Ref: scu.174712