In Re European Life Assurance Society: 1869

Sir William James V-C dismissed a petition for the winding up of a company which had issued large numbers of life policies and annuity contracts, and appeared to be in financial difficulties. He rejected the basis of the ‘just and equitable’ ground in section 79(5) of the 1862 Act, saying: ‘And in my view of the law of the case it would be just and equitable to wind up a company like this assurance company if it were made out to my satisfaction that it is, not in any technical sense but, plainly and commercially insolvent – that is to say, that its assets are such, and its existing liabilities are such, as to make it reasonably certain – as to make the court feel satisfied – that the existing and probable assets would be insufficient to meet the existing liabilities. I take it that the court has nothing whatever to do with any question of future liabilities, that it has nothing whatever to do with the question of the probability whether any business which the company may carry on tomorrow or hereafter will be profitable or unprofitable. That is a matter for those who may choose to be the customers of the company and for the shareholder to consider.’


Sir William James V-C


(1869) LR 9 Eq 122


Companies Act 1862 79(5)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedByblos Bank SAL v Al-Khudhairy CA 1987
The parties disputed the validity of the appointment of a receiver. The ostensible ground for appointment of the receiver was not made out, but the bank relied on a new ground, section 223(d) of the 1948 Act. Nicholls LJ observed: ‘Construing this . .
CitedBNY Corporate Trustee Services Ltd and Others v Neuberger SC 9-May-2013
Potential Insolvency effect under guarantee
The various parties had entered into complex and substantial financial arrangements incorporating guarantees. The guarantees were conditional upon the guaranteed party being solvent. The parties disputed whether a party which would otherwise be . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Insolvency, Company

Updated: 11 May 2022; Ref: scu.535115