Shogun 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 dissenting) The rogue had not acquired a title, and could not therefore pass one. The terms of the contract were clear. Other circumstances were not available to construe a clear written contract. The question was whether the rogue was a debtor under the agreement. He was not, and could not pass title.


Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Millett, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe


[2003] UKHL 62, Times 20-Nov-2003, [2003] 3 WLR 1627, [2004] 1 LLR 532, [2004] 1 All ER 215, [2004] 1 AC 1101, [2004] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 532, [2004] RTR 12, [2004] PIQR P20, [2004] ELR 11, [2004] 1 All ER (Comm) 332


House of Lords, Bailii


Hire Purchase Act 1964 27(1) 27(2) 29(4)


England and Wales


Appeal fromNorman Hudson v Shogun Finance Ltd CA 28-Jun-2001
A rogue had purchased a car, using a false name to obtain finance. He had then sold it to the defendant. The finance company claimed the car back.
Held: The dealer had not taken all the steps he might have done to check the identity of 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 . .
CitedKing’s Norton Metal Co Ltd v Edridge Merrett and Co Ltd CA 1879
A crook ordered some brass rivet wire from a metal manufacturer. On his stationery he represented falsely that he was in business in a big way, running a large factory and having several depots and agencies. The manufacturer supplied the goods but . .
OverruledCundy v Lindsay HL 1878
Cundy was asked to pay the linen manufacturers Lindsay and Co for 250 dozen cambric handkerchiefs which he had acquired from a crook who had acquired them from Lindsay by pretending to be the respectable business firm of Blenkiron.
Held: A . .
CitedWhittaker v Campbell 1984
Where goods were obtained from the owner by fraud, but with the owner’s consent, that fraud did not vitiate the consent given. . .
CitedIngram 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 . .
CitedPhillips 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 . .
CitedBabcock v Lawson CA 1880
A person who has acquired the goods by a fraud has a voidable title. . .
CitedHelby v Matthews HL 30-May-1895
A piano owner hired it out to Brewster for monthly payments with a provision that the piano would become Brewster’s on payment of the required number of monthly payments. Brewster pledged it and the owner sought its recovery.
Held: The basic . .
CitedYoung v Schuler CA 19-Jun-1883
The issue was whether Schuler had signed an agreement simply under a power of attorney on behalf of one of the named parties or, additionally, on his own behalf as a guarantor. In the case of an equivocal agency signature, it was held that evidence . .
CitedHector v Lyons 1988
The appellant contracted to buy a house but used his under-aged son’s name. He sought specific performance when the vendor failed to complete.
Held: Since he was neither the purchaser nor the purchaser’s agent, specific performance was . .
CitedSaid v Butt 1920
The plaintiff wanted to go to a play’s first night. He had fallen out with the management of the theatre, and knew that he would not get a ticket in his own name. He got a friend to go to the theatre and buy a ticket for him without disclosing the . .
CitedCollins v Associated Greyhound Racecourses Ltd CA 1930
An undisclosed principal cannot intervene where the nature of the contract shows that the contract was intended to be with the agent personally. . .
CitedHardman v Booth CEC 1863
Gandell carried on business in two capacities: as clerk to Gandell and Co, of which his father was sole proprietor. He had no authority to contract. He was in partnership with Todd, as Gandell and Todd. He purported to conclude a contract to . .
CitedBoulton v Jones CEC 25-Nov-1857
Supply contract not assignable without consent
The defendant sent a written order for goods to a shop owned by Brocklehurst and which was addressed to him by name. Unknown to the defendant, Brocklehurst had earlier that day sold and transferred his business to Boulton. Boulton fulfilled the . .
CitedFawcett v Star Car Sales Limited 1960
(New Zealand) ‘a void contract is a paradox; in truth there is no contract at all.’ and ‘the difficulty in deciding whether a mistake of identity prevents the formation of a concluded contract is a proper assessment of the facts rather than the . .
CitedSmith v Hughes QBD 1871
Blackburn J said: ‘I apprehend that if one of the parties intends to make a contract on one set of terms, and the other intends to make a contract on another set of terms, or, as it is sometimes expressed, if the parties are not ad idem, there is no . .
CitedHartog v Colin and Shields 1939
The defendants had contracted to sell to the plaintiff 30,000 Argentine hairskins but by an alleged mistake the defendants offered the goods at a price per pound weight instead of a price per piece. The value of a piece was approximately one third . .
CitedLovesy v Palmer 1916
Solicitors for two parties corresponded and agreed for their clients about a proposed lease. The plaintiff said the agreement was to be on behalf of a company he was yet to form. The documents making up the memorandum made no mention of the company. . .
CitedLake v Simmons HL 1927
A jeweller claimed on a policy of insurance. One Ellison had induced him, in face-to-face dealings, to part with possession of two necklaces by pretending she was the wife of a local gentleman called Van der Borgh, with whom she was living, and that . .
CitedNewborne 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. . .
CitedBasma v Weekes PC 1950
The appellant requested specific performance of an agreement by which the first three respondents had agreed to sell to him two houses, of which they were tenants in common. The respondents pleaded, inter alia, that the agreement alleged was not a . .
CitedJH Rayner (Mincing Lane) Ltd v Department of Trade and Industry HL 1989
An undisclosed principal will not be permitted to claim to be party to a contract if this is contrary to the terms of the contract itself. Thus the provision in the standard form B contract of the London Metal Exchange ‘this contract is made between . .

Cited by:

Appealed toNorman Hudson v Shogun Finance Ltd CA 28-Jun-2001
A rogue had purchased a car, using a false name to obtain finance. He had then sold it to the defendant. The finance company claimed the car back.
Held: The dealer had not taken all the steps he might have done to check the identity of the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contract, Torts – Other, Consumer

Updated: 28 January 2022; Ref: scu.187997