Harlow and Jones v Panex (International) Ltd: ChD 1967

The sellers claimed under a sale contract against buyers who had refused to accept goods. By reason of the buyer’s non-acceptance of the goods, the sellers had incurred storage charges to their own suppliers with whom they had entered into an agreement which effectively made recovery of the storage charges contingent upon recovery of the storage charges from the buyers.
Rosklii J said: ‘Next there are the storage charges . . [Counsel] correctly summarised the final position by saying that the bargain was that the Russian sellers would only claim against the plaintiffs if the plaintiffs could recover those charges from the defendants in this action. [Counsel] argued that an arrangement of that kind barred the plaintiffs recovering in this action. For my part I am unable to see why. The plaintiffs have – and this was not contested – apart from any agreement with the Russian sellers, a perfectly good claim for these storage charges. Why the plaintiffs should not make an arrangement for their own sellers, ‘we will claim these and hand the proceeds over to you if we recover provided you let us off if we do not’, I am unable to see. Nor do I see why the existence of such an arrangement should afford the defendants a defence which they would not otherwise possess. It seems to me an eminently sensible commercial arrangement . . ‘

Judges:

Rosklii J

Citations:

[1967] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 509

Cited by:

CitedGiles v Thompson, Devlin v Baslington (Conjoined Appeals) HL 1-Jun-1993
Car hire companies who pursued actions in motorists’ names to recover the costs of hiring a replacement vehicle after an accident, from negligent drivers, were not acting in a champertous and unlawful manner. Lord Mustill said: ‘there exists in . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Contract, Damages

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.272902