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Inherent jurisdiction invoked to plug an inconvenient gap in (Manx) company law

Case briefing: Spirit of Montpelier v Lombard Manx

Facts

A special purpose vehicle company had just one asset, a yacht, but defaulted in its payments to Lombard which secured an order for the winding up of the company on the basis that it was insolvent. Subsequent events revealed evidence of other assets.

Decision

On a strict interpretation of Manx law there was no way to reverse the winding up. What should the court do? Pass the problem to the legislature or develop the law in accordance with the needs of the community and the interests of justice? Is the judge’s role to determine the law or to make it? Is judicial development of the common law not both inevitable and desirable?

The court found that it had an inherent jurisdiction to provide a remedy where the circumstances of the case so required given the needs of the inhabitants of the island and the international community.

Principle

An excellent case to advance if you ever find yourself threatened with injustice arising from an apparent gap in our legislation which the smaller volume of case law in our island jurisdiction has not yet managed to plug – and not just in the area of company law!

If you need help or advice on company winding up please contact Christopher on: +44 (0) 1534 632255 or email commercial@viberts.com.

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