Hugh Mack and Co Ltd v Burns and Laird Lines Ltd: 1944

The shipment was of men’s clothing carried pursuant to a consignment note and receipt stamped ‘Non-negotiable’. The consignment note named consignees in Scotland and stated: ‘Please receive for forwarding per Burns and Laird Lines’ steamers the undernoted goods . .’ These documents were retained by the shipper. The goods were damaged and the shipper claimed against the carrier, which relied on terms incorporated into its receipt. The shipper said that the Hague Rules applied by virtue of the 1924 Act.
Held: The claim failed on two grounds. The consignment note and receipt was not a bill of lading or any similar document of title; and in any event the parties had freedom of contract under article VI as amended in the case of coastal trade within the British Isles and Ireland by section 4 of the 1924 Act. The receipt, even if properly described as a ‘document of title,’ was not ‘similar to’ a bill of lading. It had none of its characteristics, being different in form; given at a different time; bearing no stamp; does not acknowledge the goods to be on board any particular ship; it was retained by the consignor, not sent to the consignee; and above all, it was not a negotiable instrument, the indorsement and delivery of which could affect the property in the goods shipped.


Andrews LCJ


(1944) Ll L Rep 377


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedJ I MacWilliam Co Inc v Mediterranean Shipping Company S A, ‘The Rafaela S’ CA 16-Apr-2003
Machinery was damaged whilst in transit, on the second of two legs. The contract described itself as a through bill of lading, but the port of discharge was not the final destination.
Held: The contract was a straight bill of lading. A . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Transport, Commercial, Contract

Updated: 17 July 2022; Ref: scu.181889