Flower v Lloyd: CA 11 Jun 1877

The plaintiffs tried to restrain the defendant from infringing their patent. They succeeded at first instance but the order was overturned on appeal. An expert went to inspect the process at the defendant’s works. Later, employees gave affidavits suggesting that, on that visit, the defendant had fraudulently concealed a part of the process. The plaintiffs sought to have the appeal reheard in a ‘bill of review’.
Held: The application failed. Applying the 1873 Act, the High Court could exercise the powers formerly conferred on the Court of Chancery and rectify any miscarriage by setting aside the judgment on grounds of fraud. That was the appropriate remedy; reopening the appeal was not.
Lord Justice James made general observations about the proper procedure where a judgment was allegedly obtained by fraud: ‘I agree with what has been said by the Master of the Rolls, that in the case of a decree (or judgment as we now call it) being obtained by fraud there always was a power, and there still is a power, in the Courts of Law in this country to give adequate relief. But that must be done by putting in issue that fraud, and that fraud only. You cannot go to your adversary and say ‘You obtained a judgment by fraud and I will have a re-hearing of the whole case’ until that fraud is established. The thing must be tried as a distinct and positive issue; ‘You, the defendants’ or ‘You, the plaintiff’ obtained that judgment or decree in your favour by fraud; you bribed the witness, you bribed my solicitor, you bribed my counsel, you committed some fraud or other of that kind, and I ask to have the judgment set aside on the ground of fraud.’ That would be tried like anything else by evidence properly taken directed at that issue and wholly free from and unembarrassed by any of the matters originally tried.’

Jessell MR, James and Baggallay JJ
[1877] 6 ChD 297, [1877] UKLawRpCh 173
Judicature Act 1873
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedTaylor v Lawrence CA 4-Feb-2002
A party sought to re-open a judgment on the Court of Appeal after it had been perfected. A case had been tried before a judge. One party had asked for a different judge to be appointed, after the judge disclosed that he had been a client of the firm . .
CitedJonesco v Beard HL 1930
The plaintiff was a race horse trainer. He had made two claims against the defendant owner alleging first that the defendant had agreed to give him a share in some horses and second that the plaintiff had sold two horses to him but not been paid for . .
CitedCouwenbergh v Valkova CA 27-May-2004
The deceased’s family lived in Europe. The defendant had moved in as tenant and had become confidante and friend over many years. A will had been prepared leaving everything to the defendant. That will had been challenged alleging incorrect . .
CitedOwens v Noble CA 10-Mar-2010
The respondent had been awarded substantial damages after an accident for which the appellant was responsible. The appellant now said that the claimant had exaggerated his injuries and misled the judge. The defendant argued that the correct approach . .
CitedSingh v Moorlands Primary School and Another CA 25-Jul-2013
The claimant was a non-white head teacher, alleging that her school governors and local authority had undermined and had ‘deliberately endorsed a targeted campaign of discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation’ against her as an Asian . .
CitedTakhar v Gracefield Developments Ltd and Others SC 20-Mar-2019
The claimant appellant alleged that properties she owned were transferred to the first defendant under undue influence or other unconscionable conduct by the second and third defendants. The claim was dismissed. Three years later she claimed to set . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Intellectual Property

Updated: 21 January 2022; Ref: scu.182177