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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> Harrison v Madejski & Anor  EWCA Civ 361 (28 March 2014)
Cite as:  EWCA Civ 361
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ON APPEAL FROM HIS HONOUR JUDGE HAMILTON
READING COUNTY COURT
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LADY JUSTICE RAFFERTY
LORD JUSTICE KITCHIN
| MR MALCOLM HARRISON
|- and -
|(1) SIR JOHN MADEJSKI
(2) COYS OF KENSINGTON (A FIRM)
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Matthew Cook (instructed by Field Seymour Parkes) for the 1st Respondent
Alexander Wright (instructed by Wilmot & Co Solicitors LLP) for the 2nd Respondent
Hearing dates : 27 FEBRUARY 2014
Crown Copyright ©
THE CHANCELLOR (Sir Terence Etherton) :
The law of vehicle registration
The trial and judgment on liability
"It was the statutory scheme that meant that [the purchaser] acquired the registration mark. That does not mean that there was no enrichment or no unjust enrichment. On the contrary, it is the reason why there may have been. His potential enrichment consisted in his acquisition of a car carrying with it a potentially valuable registration mark. Any such enrichment must have been at the expense of [the vendor]. …
Further, it was legally unjust for [the purchaser] to keep the registration mark, since it was an express term of the auction contract that he would not receive the vehicle's existing mark (whatever that might be), but would instead get an age-related mark, and he only obtained the old, cherished mark as the result of a mistaken failure by Coys to operate the statutory scheme correctly on behalf of the estate, about which mistake [the purchaser] soon became aware."
The costs hearings and judgments
Mr Harrison's appeal
"The underlying issue is whether the car was sold with or without the cherished registration mark … Sir John contends that it was sold without the mark. Mr Harrison contends that it was sold with the mark and Sir John contends that, if that is right, [Coys] were in breach of their duty to him."
"On the information provided by Coys no reasonable buyer could have come to the conclusion that the Mark was included in the sale."
"In my judgment [Bullock or Sanderson orders] are appropriate nowadays only in those cases where the claimant does not know which party is at fault and it is inappropriate to make either order when both defendants succeeded in defending a large part of the claim. I consider also that it would be contrary to the objective of [CPR] r.44.3 to make a qualified Bullock or Sanderson order."
"quite a difficult area to explore, as is apparent not only from the length of the passages in my judgment in which it is considered, but also from the efforts devoted to it in the skeleton arguments at trial."
a) The fact that Coys "could clearly have done more to bring to the attention of purchasers the fact that the car was being sold without the registration mark";
b) the "deceitful letter of 30th June 2011" written on the basis of information provided by Mr Wiles;
c) the fact that Coys had not "retained a back-up" of files that were lost when a laptop computer was stolen from Coys' premises;
d) the fact that Mr Wiles had an extended holiday between August and October 2011;
e) Coys' refusal to mediate;
f) the unimpressive evidence of Mr Wiles.
Lady Justice Rafferty
Lord Justice Kitchin