The defendant, who carried on the business of a fisherman, sold his vessel Jelle to the plaintiff with a view to having a new boat built to his requirements. In the event he bought a replacement vessel which he continued to use for his business. The question for the court was whether the sale of the Jelle had been made ‘in the course of a business’ within the meaning of section 14(2) of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 so that it was subject to an implied term that the vessel was of merchantable quality.
Held: A sale of his vessel by a fisherman was a sale in the course of business and it was required to be of merchantable quality. The phrase ‘in the course of business had a different meaning in the Act from in Trade Description and Unfair Contract Terms law. The defendant was not in the business of selling trawlers, and the fact that his boat was the principal asset of his business of fisherman did not mean that its sale was other than incidental thereto. The appeal was allowed.
Lady Justice Butler-Sloss, Lord Justice Potter, Sir Patrick Russell
Times 31-Dec-1998, Gazette 13-Jan-1999,  EWCA Civ 1931,  QB 1028,  2 WLR 1064
Sale of Goods Act 1979 12(1)
England and Wales
Cited – Havering London Borough Council v Stevenson 1970
The defendant carried on a car hire business as opposed to the business of a motor car vendor or dealer. He had a fleet of twenty-four cars and made a regular practice of selling his hire cars when he had had them for about two years or when the . .
Cited – R and B Customs Brokers Co Ltd v United Dominions Trust Ltd CA 1988
There was an issue whether or not the purchase by the plaintiff of a second-hand car was made ‘in the course of a business’ so as to preclude the plaintiff from relying upon the provisions of the 1977 Act.
Held: Speaking of Lord Keith’s . .
Cited – Christopher Hill Ltd v Ashington Piggeries Ltd HL 1972
Mink farmers had asked a compounder of animal foods to make up mink food to a supplied formula.
Held: There was reliance as to the suitability of the ingredients only.
Lord Diplock said: ‘Unless the Sale of Goods Act 1893 is to be allowed . .
Cited – Fothergill v Monarch Airlines Ltd HL 10-Jul-1980
The plaintiff, on arriving at the airport found that his luggage had been lost. The defendant denied liability saying he had not notified his claim within the requisite period.
Held: Elementary justice requires that the rules by which the . .
Cited – Davies v Sumner HL 1984
The defendant used his own car almost exclusively in the course of his occupation as a courier. He sold and replaced it with another for similar use. He was charged before justices with the offence of applying, ‘in the course of trade or business’, . .
Cited – Devlin v Hall 1990
Cited – Kenny v Conroy and Another CA 27-Jan-1999
A court need only first see whether at the time of the loan, the party’s business was that of moneylender. If not, the court then investigates if the person held themselves out as carrying on such a business. Kennedy L.J: ‘. . . a licensed . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 14 May 2021; Ref: scu.145410