Miliangos v George Frank (Textiles) Ltd: HL 1975

The issue was whether an English court was able to award damages in Sterling only.
Held: The House distinguished clearly between the substance of the debtor’s obligations and the effect of English procedural law when a debt in a foreign currency came to be enforced in England. A judgment debt expressed in a foreign currency must be converted into sterling for enforcement purposes on the date when the court authorises enforcement of the judgment. The general rule in tort is that damages should be assessed as at the date of breach.
The House considered whether it was obliged to follow its own previous decisions. Lord Wilberforce: ‘It is true that since 1966 your Lordships have power to depart from a previous decision of your Lordships’ House; although, in view of the limited resources available to decision-making by a court of law, it is a power which your Lordships have exercised with proper restraint. But the statement of Lord Gardiner LC of July 26, 1966 [Practice Statement: (Judicial Precedent) [1966] 1 WLR 395], expressly asserted that it was ‘not intended to affect the operation of the rule of precedent elsewhere than’ in your Lordships’ House; and it is clear law that the Court of Appeal is bound by a decision of your Lordships’ House and (at least on its civil side) by a previous decision of the Court of Appeal itself: Young v Bristol Aeroplane Co. Ltd [1944] KB 718; [1946] AC 163, 160. Any change in this respect would require legislation.’
Lord Wilberforce said: ‘The substance of the debtor’s obligations depends upon the proper law of the contract (here Swiss law); and though English law (lex fori) prevails as regards procedural matters, it must surely be wrong in principle to allow procedure to affect, detrimentally, the substance of the creditor’s rights. [I]f means exist for giving effect to the substance of a foreign obligation, conformably with the rules of private international law, procedure should not unnecessarily stand in the way.’ and ‘[O]bjections based on authority against making an order in specie for the payment or delivery of foreign money, are not, on examination, found to rest on any solid principle or indeed on more than the Court’s discretion.’
Lord Wilberforce, Lord Cross of Chelsea, Lord Edmund-Davies
[1976] AC 443, [1975] 1 WLR 758
England and Wales
Not followedIn re United Railways of Havana and Regla Warehouses Ltd; Tomkinson v First Pennsylvania Banking and Trust Co HL 1960
A sum was held to be due from that company in US dollars under a lease and another agreement which were both governed by the law of Pennsylvania.
Held: The sum provable in the liquidation of the company was to be converted at the rates of . .
Appeal fromMiliangos v George Frank (Textiles) Ltd CA 1975
The court looked at what makes a case decided per incuriam: ‘a case is not decided per incuriam because counsel have not cited all the relevant authorities or referred to this or that rule of court or statutory provision.’ (Lord Denning MR) . .
CitedClippens Oil Co v Edinburgh and District Water Trustees HL 1907
A wrongdoer must take his victim as he finds him, and be answerable for the consequences which actually flow from his wrongful act.
Lord Collins said: ‘In my opinion the wrongdoer must take his victim talem qualem, and if the position of the . .

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CitedCarnegie v Glessen and Others CA 1-Mar-2005
A dispute had been settled by imposition of a charging order against property expressed in a foreign currency. The claimant now said such an order was not possible, and had been made by mistake correctable under the slip rule.
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CitedLesotho Highlands Development Authority v Impregilo Spa and others HL 30-Jun-2005
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Held: The . .
CitedJames, Regina v; Regina v Karimi CACD 25-Jan-2006
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CitedWilliam John Henry Johnson v Gore Wood and Co CA 3-Dec-2003
. .
CitedAlcoa Minerals of Jamaica Inc v Herbert Broderick PC 20-Mar-2000
(Jamaica) Damage had been caused to the claimant’s property, but, because of his lack of funds, he was dependent upon the receipt of the damages to carry out the works of repair necessary. By the time the matter came to trial, inflation meant that . .
CitedPhillips v Mulcaire SC 24-May-2012
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CitedLB Holdings Intermediate 2 Ltd, The Joint Administrators of v Lehman Brothers International (Europe), The Joint Administrators of and Others SC 17-May-2017
In the course of the insolvent administration of the bank, substantial additional sums were received. Parties appealed against some orders made on the application to court for directions as to what was to be done with the surplus.
Held: The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 10 October 2021; Ref: scu.182981