Siebe Gorman & Co Ltd v Barclays Bank Ltd

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Siebe Gorman & Co Ltd v Barclays Bank Ltd
Aa aerorlox1.jpg
A Siebe Gorman rebreather.
Court High Court of Justice
Citation(s) [1979] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 142
Court membership
Judge(s) sitting Slade J
Keywords
Floating charge

Siebe Gorman & Co Ltd v Barclays Bank Ltd [1979] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 142 is a UK insolvency law case, concerning the definition of a floating charge. It was an influential decision for many years, but is now outdated as authority in light of the House of Lords decision in Re Spectrum Plus Ltd.

Facts[edit]

Siebe Gorman, a diving equipment company, granted a debenture in favour of Barclays Bank to secure a loan. The document was expressed to create a ‘first fixed charge’ over all present and future book debts. It required Siebe Gorman to pay the proceeds of its book debts into a Barclays Bank account, and prohibited Siebe Gorman from creating any other charges on those book debts, or assigning the book debts to anyone else. So there was a prohibition on dealing with the book debts before collection of them. Barclays also had the right to obtain absolute control by giving notice, but that right was never exercised.

Judgment[edit]

Slade J held that it was a fixed charge. The restrictions on Siebe Gorman’s power gave the bank enough control to be inconsistent with being a floating charge.

Authority[edit]

Although the case remained good law for many years, it was doubted by the Privy Council in Re Brumark Investments Ltd [2001] UKPC 28, and then formally overruled by the House of Lords in Re Spectrum Plus Ltd [2005] UKHL 41.

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Notes[edit]

References[edit]

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