Case details

Banca Nazionale del Lavoro SPA (Respondent) v Playboy Club London Limited and others (Appellants)

Case ID: UKSC 2016/0121

Case summary


Whether a duty of care for a negligent misstatement is capable of arising through an agent for the benefit of an undisclosed principal.


The first appellant is the operator of a London casino. A request was made on its behalf by the third appellant to the respondent bank to provide a reference as to means and standing in respect of one of the casino’s customers, Mr Barakat. Relying upon the positive reference, the first appellant granted Mr Barakat a cheque cashing facility ("CCF") for £800,000 which was subsequently extended. At the end of the relevant period the first appellant was left with two cheques drawn on Mr Barakat’s account with the respondent to a total value equivalent to £1.25 million. Those cheques were later found to be counterfeit. It has since transpired that, contrary to the impression given by the Bank’s reference, while Mr Barakat had opened an account with the Bank there were at no time any funds in it. The first appellant was left unable to recover its losses.

Judgment appealed

[2016] EWCA Civ 457


  1. Playboy Club London Limited
  2. Caesar's Entertainment UK Limited
  3. Burlington Street Services Limited

Banca Nazionale del Lavoro SPA



Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed, Lord Briggs

Hearing start date

24 Apr 2018

Hearing finish date

24 Apr 2018

Watch hearing
24 Apr 2018 Morning session Afternoon session