The parties disputed the chairmanship of a charity. The claimant succeeded, but a third party later intervened saying that permission had not first been obtained from the Charity Commission as required. The defendant now appealed against the lifting of the stay after the claimant had received permission.
Held: The objection failed. Authority could be granted retrospectively. The practice of granting retrospective leave for proceedings has long been well-established in English cases. The phrase ‘the taking of proceedings’ would make little sense unless interpreted to include ‘initiating or commening proceedings’. ‘Taking of proceedings’ was possible in the course of an action which had already been commenced.
The Commission did not itself consider that it could grant retrospective consent, but the order made by the Charity Commission was a permissible order, authorising the taking of a step in the existing proceedings, albeit that the order did not authorise the proceedings from their inception.
Jeremy Cousins QC
 EWHC 55 (Ch),  PTSR 769,  WLR(D) 27
Charities Act 2011 115
England and Wales
Cited – In re Saunders (A Bankrupt) ChD 1997
Very emphatic language was required in a statute before want of leave should, without more, result in proceedings being treated as a nullity. Leave could in appropriate circumstances be granted after the event notwithstanding the proceedings had . .
Cited – Rendall v Blair 1890
Where a statute requires leave to commence proceedings to be granted, a failure to obtain such consent does not automatically render the proceedings a nullity.
Bowen LJ said: ‘this section is not framed in the way in which sections are framed . .
Cited – Strachan v The Gleaner Company Limited and Stokes PC 25-Jul-2005
PC (Jamacia) The plaintiff challenged an order setting aside a default assessment of damages in his claim for defamation. After the action was lost, two witnesses had come forward who might have allowed a defence . .
Cited – Simpson v Eggington 9-Feb-1855
It is a good answer to a plea of set-off, that the amount has heen paid by a person professing to act as agent for and on account of the plaintiff, though without his authority, and that the latter ratified the act at the time of the trial. The . .
Cited – The Attorney-General, At The Relation Of Joseph Greenhill v Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge; Trinity College, Oxford, And Frederick Greenhill 4-May-1865
Lord Chelmsford LC said, of an argument by that college that the leave of the Charity Commissioners ought to have been obtained to the plaintiff’s proceedings but had not been, that: ‘The objection if persisted in must prevail, but in that case [he] . .
Cited – Gray v Raper CCP 1866
The defendants had given promissory notes to a friendly society, which came to be dissolved. An action was brought for recovery of the debts, but without the necessary permission first.
Held: The failure was not one to be taken advantage of in . .
Cited – Glen v Gregg 1882
Cited – In re Wanser Ltd 1891
A landlord of Scottish property began proceedings after a winding up order for sequestration of the company’s goods on the premises in order to answer for future rent.
Held: North J allowed the sequestration to continue, being satisfied that . .
Cited – Regina v Lord Mayor of London; Ex parte Boaler QBD 1893
Boaler had brought unsuccessful proceedings in the Lord Mayor’s Court against a company, and was ordered to pay its costs. When he failed to pay them, an order of commitment was made against him. He applied for certiorari, alleging, inter alia, that . .
Cited – In re Hutton (A Bankrupt), Mediterranean Machine Operations Ltd v Haigh and Others ChD 1969
Proceedings were instituted against a trustee in bankruptcy after he had seized an aircraft claimed by the plaintiff.
Held: There is no right to sue an officer of the court in another court, without the sanction of the court, which appointed . .
Cited – Seal v Chief Constable of South Wales Police HL 4-Jul-2007
The claimant had sought to bring proceedings against the respondent, but as a mental patient subject to the 1983 Act, had been obliged by the section first to obtain consent. The parties disputed whether the failure was a procedural or substantial . .
Cited – Adorian v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis CA 23-Jan-2009
The claimant received injuries when arrested. He was later convicted of resisting arrest. The defendant relied on section 329 of the 2003 Act. The claimant said that the force used against him was grossly disproportionate. The commissioner appealed . .
Cited – In re Ford’s Charity 6-Jul-1855
A new scheme for the development of a new school which had not previously been considered by the court did not amount to a matter pending, even though another scheme in respect of the same charity funds had been so considered. He held that it was . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Charity, Litigation Practice
Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.520824