Hely-Hutchinson v Brayhead Ltd: 1968

Directors are required to disclose their interests in contracts with the company: ”It is not contended that [the] section in itself affects the contract. The section merely creates a statutory duty of disclosure and imposes a fine for non-compliance. But it has to be read in conjunction with article [85]. The first sentence of that article is obscure. If a director makes or is interested in a contract with the company, but fails duly to declare his interest, what happens to the contract? Is it void, or is it voidable at the option of the company, or is it still binding on both parties, or what? The article supplies no answer to these questions. I think the answer must be supplied by the general law, and the answer is that the contract is voidable at the option of the company, so that the company has a choice whether to affirm or avoid the contract, but the contract must be either totally affirmed or totally avoided and the right of avoidance will be lost if such time elapses or such events occur as to prevent rescission of the contract . . .’

[1968] 1 QB 549
Companies Act 1948 317
England and Wales
Cited by:
ApprovedGuinness plc v Saunders HL 8-Feb-1990
Director – no claim for payment without authority
A committee of the board of Guinness had authorised payment of remuneration to Mr Ward, who was a director. However, the articles of association did not give authority to a committee of the board (as opposed to the full board) to authorise such a . .
CitedUltraframe (UK) Ltd v Fielding and others ChD 27-Jul-2005
The parties had engaged in a bitter 95 day trial in which allegations of forgery, theft, false accounting, blackmail and arson. A company owning patents and other rights had become insolvent, and the real concern was the destination and ownership of . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 19 November 2021; Ref: scu.230295