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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 >> Rehman v Benfield  EWCA Civ 1392 (26 October 2006)
Cite as:  EWCA Civ 1392
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COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE KINGSTON-UPON-THAMES-COUNTY COURT
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE JACOB
LORD JUSTICE NEUBERGER
| SARFRAZ PERVEZ REHMAN
|- and -
WordWave International Ltd
A Merrill Communications Company
190 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2AG
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Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR PAUL STADDON (instructed by Oliver Fisher & Co ) for the Respondents
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Mummery:
"(1) Subsections (2) and (3) below apply where any right of action to recover land .has accrued.
(2) If the person in possession of the land in question acknowledges the title of the person to whom the right has accrued
(a) the right shall be treated as having accrued on and not before the date of acknowledgment. "
"(1) To be effective for the purposes of section 29 of this Act, an acknowledgement must be in writing and signed by the person making it.
(2) For the purposes of section 29, any acknowledgement
(a) may be made by the agent of the person to whom it is required to be made under that section; and
(b) shall be made to the person, or to an agent of the person, whose title or claim is being acknowledged "
Slade J, in his judgment in Re Compania de Electricidad  Ch 146 at 193F on the construction of similarly worded provisions in section 24 of the Limitation Act 1939, said-
"In my judgment, though no authority has been cited to me which either confirms or rejects such proposition, a written acknowledgement cannot be said to be "made to" a creditor or his agent, within the meaning of section 24(2) unless either (a) it is delivered to the creditor or his agent by or with the authority of the debtor or (b) it is expressly or implicitly addressed to and is actually received by the creditor or his agent.
In my judgment, in case (a) it would not matter that the acknowledgement was not, according to its terms, expressly or implicitly addressed to the recipient. In case (b) it would not matter that the acknowledgement reached the hands of the creditor otherwise than by or with the authority of the debtor. In either case, however, it would be necessary that the creditor should actually receive the acknowledgment before he could rely on it."
Proceedings and outline facts
"33. . There is nothing here to which the claimant can point, any document, which at this time was signed by the defendant. Of course, there might be circumstances where such an acknowledgement can be made by the defendant's agent, but there is no evidence here to that effect at all, and so, in my view, the defence based on acknowledgement is entirely misconceived."
Discussion and conclusion
Result, relief and costs
Lord Justice Jacob: