Les Affreteurs Reunis SA v Leopold Walford (London) Ltd: HL 1919

With regard to Robertson -v- Wait: ‘My Lords, so far as I am aware, that case has not before engaged the attention of this House, and I think it right to say plainly that I agree with that decision and I agree with the reasoning, shortly as it is expressed, upon which the decision was founded. In this connection I would refer to the well-known case of In re Empress Engineering Company. In the judgment of Sir George Jessel MR the principle is examined which, in my view, underlies and is the explanation of the decision in Robertson v. Wait. The Master of the Rolls uses this language: ‘So, again, it is quite possible that one of the parties to the agreement may be the nominee or trustee of the third person. As Lord Justice James suggested to me in the course of the argument, a married woman may nominate somebody to contract on her behalf, but then the person makes the contract really as trustee for somebody else, and it is because he contracts in that character that the cestui que trust can take the benefit of the contract.’ It appears to me plain that for convenience, and under long established practice, the broker in such cases, in effect, nominates the charterer to contract on his behalf, influenced probably by the circumstance that there is always a contract between charterer and owner in which this stipulation, which is to enure to the benefit of the broker, may very conveniently be inserted. In these cases the broker, on ultimate analysis, appoints the charterer to contract on his behalf. I agree therefore with the conclusion arrived at by all the learned judges in Robertson v. Wait, that in such cases charterers can sue as trustees on behalf of the broker.’


Lord Birkenhead LC, Viscount Finlay and Lords Atkinson Wrenbury


[1919] AC 801


England and Wales


ApprovedRobertson v Wait 1853
. .

Cited by:

CitedNisshin Shipping Co Ltd v Cleaves and Company Ltd and others ComC 7-Nov-2003
One party sought a declaration that arbitrators should have no jurisdiction to determine claims for commission said to be due to the Respondent chartering brokers.
Held: Because he has in effect become a statutory assignee of the promisee’s . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contract, Agency, Transport

Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.187709

Comments are closed.