In re Oriental Commercial Bank: 1871

The court considered the rule against double proof. Mellish LJ said: ‘This rule against double proof applies in the Court of Chancery as well as in the Court of Bankruptcy, and therefore would apply equally where companies are being wound up.’
After referring to the extent to which the principle should be carried, he continued: ‘But the principle itself – that an insolvent estate, whether wound up in Chancery or in Bankruptcy, ought not to pay two dividends in respect of the same debt – appears to me to be a perfectly sound principle. If it were not so, a creditor could always manage, by getting his debtor to enter into several distinct contracts with different people for the same debt, to obtain higher dividends than the other creditors, and perhaps get his debt paid in full. I apprehend that is what the law does not allow; the true principle is, that there is only to be one dividend in respect of what is in substance the same debt, although there may be two separate contracts.’


Mellish LJ


(1871) LR 7 Ch App 99


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedIn re Melton, Milk v Towers CA 1918
In 1901 Richard Melton and another guaranteed to a Bank his son Arthur’s debts up to andpound;500. Richard died survived by his widow, Arthur and three daughters, giving his real estate to his widow for her life, with remainder to his four children . .
CitedIn re Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Ltd SC 19-Oct-2011
The bank had been put into administrative receivership, and the court was now asked as to how distributions were to be made, and in particular as to the application of the equitable rule in Cherry v Boultbee in the rule against double proof as it . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Equity, Insolvency

Updated: 01 May 2022; Ref: scu.238735