Siebe Gorman & Co Ltd v Barclays Bank Ltd

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Siebe Gorman & Co Ltd v Barclays Bank Ltd
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg
Court High Court of Justice
Citation(s) [1979] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 142
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 It is outdated as authority, in light of the House of Lords decision in Re Spectrum Plus Ltd.


Siebe Gorman, a diving equipment company, granted a debenture in favour of Barclays (i.e. got a loan). The document said the loan was 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 forbid Siebe Gorman from putting other charges on, 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.


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.

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