Speechley and Others v Allott and Others: CA 10 Mar 2014

The parties disputed the management of a social club. The club owned a bowling green, and bowling members sought to restrain its closure. The appellants now said that the court should not have found at first instance that a meeting had validly elected a new committee and officers despite defects in the procedures adopted. Payments had also been correct despite not being satisfactorily documented.
Held: A vote at a meeting required to be by ballot was not satisfied by a show of hands. Nor is this a failure of form rather than substance. Nor did the notice of meeting forewarn the members that the elections would not be by ballot. However the later AGM was effective to cure these issues. The request for an account was refused, the appellant being unable to identify documents he wanted over and above those received. The appeal succeeded to that limited extent.

Sullivan, McFarlane, Lewison LJJ
[2014] EWCA Civ 230
Friendly Societies Act 1992 30, Friendly Societies Act 1974 76
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Tidd Pratt 5-Jun-1865
The court was asked as to the purported alteration of the rules of a friendly society which the registrar had refused to register. The two alleged defects were: i) The meeting of the society was held in Manchester (where the majority of members . .
CitedLabouchere v Earl of Wharncliffe CA 1879
The purported expulsion of Mr Labouchere from the Beefsteak Club was invalid because the rules had not been followed. . .
CitedDawkins v Antrobus CA 1-Feb-1881
The Court will not interfere against the decision of the members of a club professing to act under their rules, unless it can be shewn either that the rules are contrary to natural justice, or that what has been done is contrary to the rules, or . .
CitedYoung v Ladies’ Imperial Club Ltd CA 1920
The purported expulsion of Mrs Young from the Ladies’ Imperial Club was invalid for two reasons. First, one member of the executive committee had not been given notice of the meeting, even though she would not have attended it. Second, the notice of . .
CitedRe Sick and Funeral Society of St John’s Sunday School Golcar ChD 1972
The rules of a club are essentially contractual in nature.
A member may resign his membership unilaterally and his resignation will be effective if he has sufficiently manifested his decision to cease to be a member: ‘ . . It seems to me that . .
CitedRe GKN Bolts and Nuts Ltd etc Works Sports and Social Club ChD 1982
There was a sports and social club associated with GKN, whose members were all employees of GKN. The main issue in the case was whether the club had ceased to exist. But one subsidiary issue was whether a meeting had been validly convened. The club . .
CitedNewbold and Others v The Coal Authority CA 23-May-2013
Appeal by the Coal Authority against an order declaring that notices of subsidence damage were valid damage notices for the purposes of section 3 of the 1991 Act.
Held: Sir Stanley Burnton said: ‘In all cases, one must first construe the . .
CitedBarron v Potter 1914
Where all the directors of a company agree to something which the articles require to be decided by resolution, then the unanimous agreement of all the members of the company is as good as a formal resolution passed by a majority. . .
CitedIn Re Duomatic Ltd ChD 1969
Payments were made by a company by way of remuneration to directors without complying with the company’s articles of association in that no resolution authorising the directors to receive remuneration had ever been passed in a general meeting of the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 23 December 2021; Ref: scu.522279