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Colonial Cases

Hough v. Legge, 1887

[company law]

Hough v. Legge

Supreme Court for China and Japan
Rennie CJ, 9 April 1887
Source: North China Herald, 13 April 1887

Shanghai, 9th April 1887
Before Sir R. T. Rennie, Chief Justice, and George Jamieson, Esq., Acting Assistant Judge.
  N. H. S. Wilkinson for the plaintiff.
  Mr. A. Robinson for the defendant.
  This was an application on behalf of the defendant for an affidavit of documents.  The case was at hearing in chambers before the Acting Assistant Judge on 31st March when decision was reserved till April 4th.  The case was reheard on Thursday the 7th inst.  
  The suit was for delivery of 50 new shares in the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, the defendant, Mr. W. Legge, having in January, 1883, purchased 100 of shares cum new, from the plaintiff Mr. R. Hough.
  His Lordship in giving his decision said that he and the Assistant Judge had conferred together, and were quite agreed as to what was to be done.  They both thought that the order made on the original application was too wide, and that it should have only applied to the document going to make up the contract.  They were both agreed that the order went too far and that inspection of documents was premature before the defence was filed.  He was satisfied that it was only to the written contract, upon which the suit was founded, that the inspection should apply.
  Mr. Wilkinson said that if his leaned friend had asked him to show him any documents he would have shown him every one he had got.  He had not refused to show him anything.
  Mr. Robinson said he did not know what his learned friend might have got he might have a good deal more than he was aware of.
  His Lordship said there was a certain contract referred to in the petition and the defendant was entitled to inspect that document.  If that written document had been set out in the petition he thought it only reasonable that the order should be made for its inspection.
  Mr. Wilkinson said that the only thing was, whether the order should be made, considering that he had never refused to show the document.  He offered before the summons was taken out to show his learned friend any document he had, and he would have shown him the particular document referred to, if he had been asked for it.
  Mr. Jamieson expressed his concurrence with his Lordship, observing that if he had heard the case argued in the first instance as it was on the present occasion, he would have limited his order to the written contract, or the document going to make up the contract.
  Mr. Robinson urged his application for the affidavit.  Mr. Wilkinson might have had documents which had passed out of his possession.  If not, he would be troubled to make another application after he had put in his defence.
  His Lordship made an order for production of the written document or the written documents which went to make up the contract mentioned in the petition.


Source: North China Herald, 3 June 1887

Shanghai, 2nd June, 1887
Before Sir R. T. Rennie, Chief Justice.
.  .  .   The Court adjourned till tomorrow afternoon.

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