Virginia Rylatt - Reported Cases


Mastercigars Direct v Withers LLP [2007] EWHC 2733 (Ch), [2008] 3 All ER 417 (23 November 2007);
Mastercigars Direct v Withers LLP [2009] EWHC 651 (Ch), 1 WLR 881 (30 March 2009);
Mastercigars Direct v Withers LLP [2009] EWHC 1295 (10 June 2009) (all Morgan J); and The Court of Appeal Mastercigars Direct v Withers LLP [2009] EWCA Civ 1526 (7 December 2009).

This is the leading case on costs and solicitor’s estimates and charging orders obtained under s 73 of the Solicitors Act 1974.


Peter Shalson and Others v Onofrio Russo and Others [2003] EWHC 1637 (Ch)

Peter Shalson and Others (claimants)
Jean-Claude Mimran and Others (Part 20 claimants)
Onofrio Russo and Others (Defendants)
[2005] Ch 281
[2005] 2 WLR 1213

This case centred around the arch-crook Onofrio Russo (OR) who ran a ponzi scheme with his bank Westbond International Bank Limited (WIB). Withers acted for Jean-Claude Mimran (JCM) who sought judgment against OR for a US$ 2.5m loan and in regard to a further US$ 7.5m paid. The seminal judgment of Rimer J is a lesson on the principles of tracing and is used by the Bar to teach the subject. WIB had 13 different currency accounts, deposit accounts and ‘call’ accounts with other banks.


Re W (ex parte orders) [2002] 2 FLR, Munby J.

A third party for whom Withers were acting had bought a property at Wentworth. The wife had obtained an order of sequestration and, when that was resisted on the ground that properties (including the one at Wentworth) had been sold bona fide to third parties, orders were made restraining the third parties from disposing or dealing with the property. No cross-undertakings were given by the wife and on the third party’s application to discharge the injunctions the court set out in terms the obligations now required in family cases where injunctions are sought against third parties.


MT Realisations Ltd (in liquidation) v Digital Equipment Co Ltd [2002] EWHC 1628 (Ch) [2002] 2 BCLC 688, Laddie J.

Withers acted for the liquidators of MT Realisations (MTR) supported by the Inland Revenue on this difficult case involving the definition of financial assistance under s. 151 of the Companies Act 1985. ‘Financial Assistance’ being defined by s. 152 of the act, a circular definition, was unhelpful and for once the court had a company with no net assets so that the relevant part of the section on financial assistance which applied read:
‘152 (1)(a) ‘financial assistance’ means-

(1V) any other financial assistance given by a company the net assets of which are thereby reduced to a material extent or which has no net assets’

The case was widely reported, at first instance and on appeal: Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Mummery and May LLJ, [2003] EWCA Civ 494; [2003] BCC 415.


In the matter of Regional Airports Limited and in the matter of the Companies Act 1985 [1999] 2 BCLC 30 Ch D.

A claim under s 459 of the Companies Act 1985 that the affairs of the company have been run in a manner which is unfairly prejudicial to the petitioners’ interests as shareholders. The subject matter was the ownership of two airports, Biggin Hill and Southend, and involved some difficult valuation evidence.


Alliance & Leicester Building Society and Other v Edgestop Ltd and Others [1999] Lloyds Rep 868.

This case contains Lord Hoffman’s judgment awarding £6m as an interim payment against the partners and solicitors in the firm which had been participating in the fraud against Alliance & Leicester.


Cooking Vinyl and Another v Michelle Shocked and Others [1998] 1 All ER 372.

An appeal against the order setting aside the orders made by the trial judge who had proceeded with the trial of the counterclaim in the absence of the claimant. The case deals with the distinction between setting aside a judgment obtained in default and setting aside a judgment following a trial.


Alliance & Leicester Building Society and Other v Edgestop Ltd and Others [1995] 2 BCLC, CA (Norse, Evans and Rose LLJ).

Appeal by the receivers of Edgestop relating to their costs, the basis on which they should be assessed and whether by a Chancery Master or a taxing officer.

Both Alliance & Leicester v Edgestop and Gran Gelato were referred to in Lord Hoffman’s judgment in Standard Chartered Bank v Pakistan Shipping Corporation and Others [2002] 1 AC 959.


Alliance & Leicester Building Society and Others v Hamptons and Mercantile Credit Co v Hamptons [1994] New Property Cases p36, Mummery J.


Alliance & Leicester Building Society and Other v Edgestop Ltd and Others [1993] 1 WLR 1462, Mummery J.

Mackenzie Mills acted for Alliance & Leicester and this decision was dealing with whether one of the defendants, Hamptons, should have leave to amend its pleading to plead contributory negligence within the meaning of s.1(1) of the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 as a defence to claims against it for vicariously liability for Mr Lancaster’s deceit.


Gran Gelato Ltd v Richcliff (Group) Limited and Others [1992] Ch 560

This case dealt with contributory negligence as a defence to concurrent claims for misrepresentation for breach of a common law duty of care and for breach of s 2(1) of the Misrepresentation Act 1967.


London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham v Top Shop Centres Limited [1990] Ch 237; [1989] 2 WLR 643.

A case concerning forfeiture of leases and equitable estoppels.

While the Bribery Act 2010 is some 17 pages in length plus appendices, the Guidance as to procedures which relevant…
If you are thinking of making an investment in another country, you will naturally want to know what can be done if…
By Virginia Rylatt Yukos S.A.R.L. v. OJSC Rosneft Oil Company [2012] EWCA Civ 855 Lord Justices Rix Longmore and…
In a recent judgment of Mr Justice Foskett on 23 May 2011, the former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott, the former…