Belmont Finance Corporation Ltd (Plaintiff) (Appellant) Williams Furniture Ltd (formerly) (Easterns Ltd) (First Defendant) (Respondent) City Industrial Finance Ltd (Second Defendant) James Peter Grosscurth (Third Defendant) Andreas Demetri (Fourth Defendant) Kenneth Maund (Fifth Defendant) John Sinclair Copeland (Sixth Defendant) Archie Spector (Seventh Defendant) Frank Victor Smith (Eight Defendant)

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
JudgeLORD JUSTICE BUCKLEY
Judgment Date31 July 1979
Judgment citation (vLex)[1979] EWCA Civ J0731-8
Docket Number1969 B No.5821
CourtCourt of Appeal (Civil Division)
Date31 July 1979
Between:
Belmont Finance Corporation Limited
Plaintiff
(Appellant)
and
Williams Furniture Limited (formerly) (Easterns Limited)
First Defendant
(Respondent)
City Industrial Finance Limited
Second Defendant
James Peter Grosscurth
Third Defendant
Andreas Demetri
Fourth Defendant
Kenneth Maund
Fifth Defendant
John Sinclair Copeland
Sixth Defendant
Archie Spector
Seventh Defendant
Frank Victor Smith
Eight Defendant

[1979] EWCA Civ J0731-8

Before:

Lord Justice Buckley

Lord Justice Goff and

Lord Justisce Waller

(not present when judgment delivered)

1969 B No.5821

In The Supreme Court of Judicature

Court of Appeal (Civil Division)

On Appeal from The High Court of Justice

Chancery Division

Group B

(Mr. Justice Foster)

MR. MICHAEL MILLER Q.C. and MR. M.J. ROTH (instructed by Messrs. Sidney Pearlman & Greene, Solicitors, London) appeared on behalf of the Plaintiff (Appellant).

MR. MARTIN NOURSE Q.C. and MR. G. BRIAN PARKER (instructed by "Messrs. Freshfields, Solicitors, London) appeared on behalf of the 1st and 2nd Defendants (Respondents).

LORD JUSTICE BUCKLEY
1

The judgment I am about to read is the judgment of the court.

2

Having already decided the merits of this appeal, we now have to determine what remedies the plaintiff is entitled to. We have found that the plaintiff is entitled to judgment against the first three defendants for conspiracy and against City as a constructive trustee.

3

We will deal first with the claim in conspiracy. Mr. Miller for Belmont submits that as in the event Maximum was a total loss, having been wound up in a state of complete insolvency, the whole of the £500,000 invested in Maximum by Belmont has been lost as a result of the conspiracy. The wrong suffered by Belmont was, as Mr. Miller submits, that the conspirators caused Belmont to buy Maximum. The purchase was a speculative venture and the loss was foreseeable as at least a possible consequence. The measure of damages should consequently, according to Mr. Miller, be £500,000 less any sums proper to be brought into credit against that amount. Having regard to the ways in which Belmont's case has been pleaded (see in particular paragraph 22 of the statement of claim as amended in green) and presented here and below, Belmont is willing to give credit for the fair value of Maximum at the time of the transaction, although it does not concede that it is legally bound to do so. This would result in a net figure (which is now agreed) of £439,941.

4

Mr. Nourse on the other hand says that the wrong suffered by Belmont was that it was induced to pay too much for Maximum, and that in assessing the damages account must be taken not only of the fair value of Maximum at the date of the purchase but of any other advantage obtained by Belmont under theagreement. In this connection he submits that the value of Mr. Grosscurth's guarantee must be taken into account as well as any benefits consequent upon City's subscription of new capital in Belmont. He further submits that an inquiry is necessary to ascertain to what extent the collapse of Maximum was foreseeable at the date of the agreement because, as he submits, any damage which was not then reasonably foreseeable cannot be recovered.

5

In our principal judgments delivered earlier in this appeal certain provisional views were expressed which touched on the question of the measure of damages in this case and the elements to be taken into account in measuring them. Having now heard argument on the subject we have reached the following conclusions.

6

The loss of the entire investment by Belmont of £500,000 in Maximum was, in our view, a reasonably foreseeable possible consequence of that investment. The fact that Mr. Grosscurth's guarantee of the profits of Maximum might prove to be of no value, as was the case in the event, was also in our view, a reasonably foreseeable possible event. It is for the defendants to...

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