Phillips v Brooks Ltd: 1919

A jeweller had a ring for sale. The buyer pretended to be somebody else: ‘I am Sir George Bullough of 11 St. James’s Square.’ The jeweller had heard of Sir George Bullough and checked he lived at the address given. He released the jewellry against his cheque. The cheque was dishonoured, but the jewelry had been sold on. The jeweller sought its return.
Held: The jeweller failed in his action, and title had passed. Horridge adapted the the judgment of Morton CJ in the Massachusetts case of Edmunds v Merchants’ Despatch Transportation Co 135 Mass 283: ‘The fact that the seller was induced to sell by fraud of the buyer made the sale voidable, not void. He could not have supposed that he was selling to any other person; his intention was to sell to the person present, and identified by sight and hearing; it does not defeat the sale because the buyer assumed a false name, or practised any other deceit to induce the vendor to sell.’


Horridge J


[1919] 2 KB 243

Cited by:

DistinguishedIngram v Little 27-Jul-1960
Two ladies had a car for sale. A buyer came along. He fooled them into believing him to be someone else, and they sold him the car, after checking the name in the telephone directory. Before the cheque bounced, the rogue sold the car to the . .
CitedLewis v Averay CA 22-Jul-1971
A private seller had parted with his car in return for a worthless cheque to a rogue who persuaded him that he was the well-known actor who played Robin Hood on television, and who sold it on to the defendant.
Held: ‘When two parties have come . .
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 . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions v Gomez HL 3-Dec-1992
The defendant worked as a shop assistant. He had persuaded the manager to accept in payment for goods, two cheques which he knew to be stolen. The CA had decided that since the ownership of the goods was transferred on the sale, no appropriation of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 12 May 2022; Ref: scu.188417