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Colonial Cases

Stanford v. Brunette, 1860

[deed of assignment]

Stanford v. Brunette

Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
June 1860
Source: The Times, 26 June, 1860

(Present, the Right Hon. Lord Kingsdown, Dr. Lushington, Sir E. Ryan, Sir L. Peel, Sir J. T. Coleridge, and Sir J. Colville.)

  This was an appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court of the Cape of Good Hope in a suit instituted by the appellant, Sir Robert Stanford, against the defendants, Messrs. Brunette, Falkner, Hope, and Johan Georg Steytler, the object of which was to have it found that  a deed of assignment granted by the appellant for the benefit of his creditors was invalid, on the ground that it was not formally executed, and that the deed had been materially altered and mutilated after it was signed by the appellant.
  It appeared that Sir Robert Stanford possessed considerable property, real and personal, in the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, but being in pecuniary difficulties and in a weak state of health, he, on the 30th of December, 1854, granted an assignment of his estate and effects to the defendants for the purpose of enabling them to discharge his debts, and the deed contained a power of sale. In January, 1855, the appellant came to England, being then in ill health, and soon after his arrival in this country he found that all his estate, moveable and immoveable, had been disposed of by the respondents in virtue of the deed of assignment. The appellant refused to acknowledge the validity of the sale and on the 20th of July, 1859, he instituted this suit in the Supreme Court of the Cape of Good Hope to have the said deed declared to be null and void. The Court below found there was no cause for setting aside the deed, but directed that the accounts of the trustees should be examined and reported on.   
  Mr. Rolt, Q.C., Mr. Bushby, and Mr. M. R. Phillips were for the appellant; Mr. Roundell Palmer, Q.C., and Mr. Busk for the respondents.
  The counsel for the appellant having been heard, their Lordships did not call on the respondents.
    Lord Kingsdown declared the judgment of their Lordships, affirming the decree of the Court below, with costs, and said that strong observations had been made on the conduct of the trustees acting under the deed of assignment for which there was no ground, and that no imputation whatever rested on them.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School