Halvanon Insurance Co Ltd v Central Reinsurance Corporation: CA 1988

The fact that a contract was made by an unauthorised insurer contrary to the 1974 Act, which was silent as to the effect of a breach of this statute, did not render the contracts made by the unauthorised insurer void. Rendering transactions void affects both the guilty and the innocent parties. Kerr LJ said: ‘Where a statute prohibits both parties from concluding or performing a contract when both or either of them have no authority to do so, the contract is impliedly prohibited . . But where a statute merely prohibits one party from entering into a contract without authority, and/or imposes a penalty upon him if he does so (i.e. a unilateral prohibition) it does not follow that the contract itself is impliedly prohibited so as to render it illegal and void. Whether or not the statute has this effect depends upon considerations of public policy in the light of the mischief which the statute is designed to prevent, its language, scope and purpose, the consequences for the innocent party, and any other relevant considerations. The statutes considered in Cope v Rowlands, 2 M and W 149 and Cornelius Phillips [1918] AC 199 fell on one side of the line; the Food Acts 1984 would clearly fall on the other.’


Kerr LJ, Parker, Balcombe LJJ


[1988] 1 WLR 1122, [1988] 1 QB 216


Insurance Act 1974


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedFlightline Ltd v Edwards and Another ChD 2-Aug-2002
Money had been paid into an account in the joint names of the parties’ solicitors in order to purchase the release of the applicants from an asset freezing order. The respondent company was in liquidation. It was argued that the payment of funds . .
CitedHughes v Asset Managers Plc CA 13-May-1994
The appellants had entered into discretionary investment management agreements wth the respondent. The investments made a substantial losss which the appellants sought to recover, saying that the agreements were void under the 1958 Act.
Held: . .
CitedWithers Llp v Rybak and Others ChD 9-May-2011
The claimant solicitors sought a declaration as to whether they had a right to assert a solicitor’s common law lien over sums in its client account. The defendant clients had asserted a security interest in the money and had assigned that interest, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Insurance, Contract

Updated: 11 June 2022; Ref: scu.182272