In Re Berkeley Securities (Property) Ltd: ChD 1980

Vinelott J considered the position where tort damages became liquidated by judgment or agreement during the winding-up. He held that in those circumstances the bankruptcy rules imported by section 317 required modification to fit into the scheme of the winding-up of an insolvent company and did not preclude the admission of the claim for the liquidated sum. The claimant would not be entitled to disturb prior distributions to creditors but would be able, in effect, to catch up with prior distributions out of assets remaining with the liquidator and to participate pari passu in any future distributions.
Vinelott J did not regard it as sensible that an unliquidated claim for damages in tort should be excluded from proof in bankruptcy, although that clearly was the legal position. He regarded it as anomalous, given that an unliquidated claim for damages for breach of contract was admissible to proof but may be just as difficult to ascertain and evaluate.
Vinelott J
[1980] 1 WLR 1589
England and Wales
CitedRe Great Orme Tramways Co 1934
A claim was made in respect of personal injuries sustained by a passenger when a tram ran out of control. The Company was in insolvent liquidation. A claim for the same amount for the same injuries could be made in contract or in tort.
Held: . .

Cited by:
DisapprovedIn re Islington Metal and Plating Works Ltd ChD 1983
Section 30 of the 1914 Act provided that ‘demands in the nature of unliquidated damages … shall not be provable in bankruptcy’. Tort claims were therefore excluded as provable debts by the express wording of the Act. . .

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Updated: 19 February 2021; Ref: scu.641425