Palmer v Carey: PC 1926

A lender financed a trader in goods, on the basis the proceeds of sale of the goods be paid into an account in the name of the lender, and that the lender recoup himself on a monthly basis in respect of sums advanced, with the balance being released to the trader subject to a right for the lender to retain a sum representing an agreed share of the trader’s profit. The trader subsequently became bankrupt. At the date of the bankruptcy, a substantial sum was owing to the lender in respect of sums advanced. The lender claimed security over goods and proceeds of sale in the hands of the trader.
Held: The lender had no such security: ‘The law as to equitable assignment, as stated by Lord Truro in Rodick v. Gandell, is this: ‘The extent of the principle to be deduced is that an agreement between a debtor and a creditor that the debt owing shall be paid out of a specific fund coming to the debtor, or an order given by a debtor to his creditor upon a person owing money or holding funds belonging to the giver of the order, directing such person to pay such funds to the creditor, will create a valid equitable charge upon such fund, in other words, will operate as an equitable assignment of the debts or fund to which the order refers. An agreement for valuable consideration that a fund shall be applied in a particular way may found an injunction to restrain its application in another way. But if there be nothing more, such a stipulation will not amount to an equitable assignment. It is necessary to find, further, that an obligation has been imposed in favour of the creditor to pay the debt out of the fund. This is but an instance of the familiar doctrine of equity that a contract for valuable consideration to transfer or charge a subject matter passes a beneficial interest by way of property in that subject matter if the contract is one of which a Court of equity will decree specific performance.’
Lord Wrenbury
[1926] AC 703
Cited by:
CitedEdwards, Drummond Smith v Flightline Limited CA 5-Feb-2003
The applicant company obtained an injunction against another company. That freezing injunction was discharged upon the payment of a sum into the names of the respective parties’ solicitors. The company went into liquidation, and the claimant . .
AdoptedSwiss Bank Corporation v Lloyds Bank Ltd CA 1981
An equitable charge is created when property is expressly or constructively made liable to the discharge of a debt or some other obligation, and the charge confers on the chargee a right of realisation by judicial process such as a sale order. . .
CitedErnst Kastner v Marc Jason, Davis Sherman, Brigitte Sherman CA 2-Dec-2004
The parties had agreed that their dispute should be resolved before the Jewish Beth Din according to Jewish substantive and procedural law. K was granted an interim freezing order. The defendant sold the asset, and K sought to assert a charge.
Updated: 11 August 2021; Ref: scu.179796