Clark v Watson: 1982

Two dentists practised in partnership. The co-partner said that on the death of one, to his estate should be paid ‘the Capital standing to the credit of the deceased Partner in the Accounts of the Partnership’. The court was asked whether that provision would require accounts to be taken as at the date of death.
Held: The practice would have to draw up accounts to the date of death, but: ‘If this conclusion is incorrect and, contrary to my opinion, the phrase ‘the Accounts of the Partnership’ in cl. Fourteenth falls to be construed as meaning inter alia a balance sheet as at 31 March 1977, it nevertheless follows from my opinion that there is nothing in this contract of copartnery to take it outwith the scope of the general rule that the pursuer qua executrix of the deceased is entitled to have the assets entered at their fair value in a fresh balance sheet as at 31 March 1977. This is certainly so if the deceased is not proved to have approved these existing accounts prepared as at 31 March 1977. Although I have heard no debate on what would be the effect of his approval of the accounts, I venture to think that his approval would not bind the pursuer to accept payment in accordance with these accounts. They were prepared upon the assumption that the partnership would continue. The deceased may have agreed to the assets being inserted at a book value in accounts prepared upon that assumption, but I do not, as at present advised, see how the deceased’s approval of accounts for that purpose can bind the pursuer to accept that valuation of the assets for the purpose of obtaining payment of the deceased’s share of capital on dissolution of the partnership by his death.’
Lord Dunpark
1982 SLT 450
Scotland
Cited by:
CitedIn Re White (Dennis) Deceased; White v Minnis and Another CA 25-May-2000
A family partnership had carried freehold property at its historic cost value in the books, rather than at a market value. After the death of one partner the share came to be valued.
Held: Being a family partnership there was presumption that . .

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Updated: 31 January 2021; Ref: scu.238867