Metropolitan Bank v Heiron: CA 1880

A claim brought by a company against a director was time-barred: the claim was to recover a bribe paid by a third party to induce the director to influence the company to negotiate a favourable settlement with the third party. The bank failed in its argument that the claim was proprietary.
Brett LJ said that: ‘[n]either at law nor in equity could this sum . . be treated as the money of the company’. However he did consider that, once the company had obtained judgment for the money there could be a trust.
James LJ thought that there was an equitable debt and applied the Limitation Acts by analogy.
Brett LJ, Cotton LJ, James LJ
(1880) 5 Ex D 319
Cited by:

  • Cited – FHR European Ventures Llp and Others v Cedar Capital Partners Llc SC 16-Jul-2014
    Approprietary remedy against Fraudulent Agent
    The Court was asked whether a bribe or secret commission received by an agent is held by the agent on trust for his principal, or whether the principal merely has a claim for equitable compensation in a sum equal to the value of the bribe or . .
    [2014] UKSC 45, [2014] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 471, [2014] 2 All ER (Comm) 425, [2014] WTLR 1135, [2014] 4 All ER 79, [2015] 1 AC 250, [2014] Lloyd’s Rep FC 617, [2014] 3 WLR 535, [2014] WLR(D) 317, [2014] 2 BCLC 145, [2015] 1 P and CR DG1, UKSC 2013/0049
  • Disapproved – The Attorney General of Hong Kong v Reid and Reid And Marc Molloy Co PC 1-Nov-1993
    (New Zealand) The Board considered the power to recover property owned by a public official found to have taken bribes.
    Held: The bribes received by the policeman were held on trust for his principal, and so they could be traced into . .
    [1993] UKPC 36, [1994] 1 All ER 1, [1994] AC 324, [1993] 3 WLR 1143

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 07 December 2020; Ref: scu.551508