Newborne v Sensolid (Great Britain) Ltd: 1954

A written contract purported to sell goods by a company described as Leopold Newborne (London) Ltd. The document was subscribed by the name of the company with Mr Leopold Newborne’s signature under it. At that time it had not yet been incorporated. Mr Newborne attempted to enforce the contract as one to which he was party.
Held: This was inconsistent with the description of the party in the contract.
Lord Goddard CJ: ‘In my opinion, unfortunate though it may be, as the company was not in existence when the contract was signed there never was a contract, and Mr Newborne cannot come forward and say: ‘Well, it was my contract.’ The fact is, he made a contract for a company which did not exist.’ The contract purported to be a contract with the company and it was not relevant that, as was the case, it was a matter of indifference to the purchasers whether they contracted with the company, or with Mr Newborne personally.
Lord Goddard CJ, Morris LJ
[1954] 1 QB 45, [1953] 1 All ER 708
England and Wales
Well establishedSchmaltz v Avery 1851
An agent who signed a charterparty containing a cesser clause purportedly as agent for an unidentified principal could show that he was himself the principal and could sue on the contract, on the grounds that it was irrelevant to the third party who . .

Cited by:
CitedShogun Finance Limited v Hudson HL 19-Nov-2003
Thief acquired no title and could not sell
A purchaser used a stolen driving licence to obtain credit for and purchase a car. He then purported to sell it to the respondent, and then disappeared. The finance company sought return of the car.
Held: (Lords Nicholls and Millett . .
CitedPhonogram Ltd v Lane CA 1982
A collateral contract was entered into with a company which had not then been incorporated under which an advance by Phonogram to support an intended new pop group was repayable by the company if a recording contract was not entered into within one . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 04 June 2021; Ref: scu.188460