in re Pergamon Press Ltd: CA 1971

The court was asked as to the duties of inspectors appointed under the 1948 Act. Sachs LJ said: ‘The inspectors’ function is in essence to conduct an investigation designed to discover whether there are facts which may result in others taking action; it is no part of their function to take a decision as to whether action be taken and a fortiori it is not for them finally to determine such issues as may emerge if some action eventuates.’
Lord Denning MR set out the following statement of principle: ‘The inspectors can obtain information in any way they think best, but before they condemn or criticise a man, they must give him a fair opportunity for correcting or contradicting what is said against him. They need not quote chapter and verse. An outline of the charge will usually suffice.’
and ‘They have to make a report which may have wide repercussions. They may, if they think fit, make findings of fact which are very damaging to those whom they name. They may accuse some; they may condemn others; they may ruin reputations or careers. Their report may lead to judicial proceedings . . When they do make their report, the Board are bound to send a copy of it to the company; and the board may, in their discretion, publish it, if they think fit, to the public at large.
Seeing that their work and their report may lead to such consequences, I am clearly of the opinion that the inspectors must act fairly . . before they condemn or criticise a man, they must give him a fair opportunity for correcting or contradicting what is said against him.’


Lord Denning MR


[1971] Ch 388, [1970] 3 WLR 792, [1970] 3 All ER 535


Companies Act 1948


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedSaunders v The United Kingdom ECHR 17-Dec-1996
(Grand Chamber) The subsequent use against a defendant in a prosecution, of evidence which had been obtained under compulsion in company insolvency procedures was a convention breach of Art 6. Although not specifically mentioned in Article 6 of the . .
CitedFinancial Conduct Authority v Macris SC 22-Mar-2017
The claimant had complained that the appellant Authority had made public a penalty imposed on a former employer but implicating him without he being first given an opportunity to make representations. . .
CitedLewin, Regina (on The Application of) v The Financial Reporting Council Ltd and Others Admn 19-Mar-2018
. .
CitedUK Innovative TI Ltd and Another v The Financial Conduct Authority UTTC 25-Apr-2018
FINANCIAL SERVICES – procedure – applicants contending they have third party rights in relation to a Supervisory Notice – whether Tribunal has jurisdiction in relation to the subject matter of the references-no-references struck out – Rule 8 (2) (a) . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Insolvency, Company

Updated: 20 May 2022; Ref: scu.622608