White v Minnis and Another: ChD 18 Jan 1999

On the dissolution of a partnership, the valuation of assets was to be in accordance with the partnership deed but in the absence of explicit guidance property was to be valued at the date of dissolution and not at an historic value used in accounts. Park J ‘Where a partner dies or retires and his interest in the partnership assets accrues to the continuing partners, the amount payable to him is determined by reference to the partnership agreement. However the court leans to the conclusion that the agreement requires the amount payable to be ascertained by reference to the true current values of the assets, not by reference to their historic costs. That conclusion can be displaced by contrary provisions in the partnership agreement, but the provisions need to be clear. If the wording is broadly neutral as between taking current values or historic costs, it is very likely that the court will take current values. Further, a decision to take historic costs is unlikely to be justified merely on the ground that in earlier balance sheets which have not been relevant to the death or retirement of a partner the book values of assets have been their historic costs, without revaluations to current costs.’


Park J


Times 18-Jan-1999, Gazette 27-Jan-1999, [1999] 1 WLR 2079


England and Wales


CitedCruikshank v Sutherland HL 1923
The executors of a deceased partner of the respondents sought relief. The assets had been taken over from an earlier partnership between the parties and had been brought into the accounts of the new partnership at the values at which they had stood . .
CitedAttorney-General v Boden 1912
There was a partnership between a father and his two sons. The sons were obliged to devote their whole time to the practice, the father only so much time as he wished. On his death the sons were to pay out to his estate the value of the capital but . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromIn Re White (Dennis) Deceased; White v Minnis and Another CA 25-May-2000
A family partnership had carried freehold property at its historic cost value in the books, rather than at a market value. After the death of one partner the share came to be valued.
Held: Being a family partnership there was presumption that . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 10 April 2022; Ref: scu.90464