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Case details

Barton and others (Respondents) v Morris and another in place of Gwyn–Jones (deceased) (Appellants)

Case ID: 2020/0002

Case summary

Issue

Whether the terms of a contract for an introduction fee in respect of a property sale excluded a claim for reasonable remuneration by the introducing party, where the property was sold for a lower sum than anticipated in the contract.

Facts

This appeal arises out of the liquidation of the Fourth Respondent, Foxpace Limited. The Appellant, Mr Gwyn–Jones is the sole director of Foxpace Limited. He convened a creditors’ meeting to vote on the proposed appointment of the Second and Third Respondents as liquidators of Foxpace. The First Respondent, Mr Barton, claimed that Foxpace Limited owed him £1.2 million and that he was therefore entitled to substantial voting rights in the creditors’ meeting. Mr Gwyn–Jones rejected this claim and recorded the debt owed to Mr Barton as £1.

Mr Barton appealed Mr Gwyn–Jones’s decision under the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016, claiming that Foxpace had agreed to pay him an introduction fee for procuring a purchaser for a London property which it owned. However, Mr Gwyn–Jones argued that there was no such agreement or else that it was a term of any such agreement that the fee would only be paid if the property was sold for at least £6.5 million. As the property had only been sold for £6 million, Mr Gwyn–Jones argued that no introduction fee was payable. In the alternative, Mr Barton claimed damages for unjust enrichment on the basis that Foxpace had freely accepted his provision of introduction services, knowing that he expected to be paid. At first instance, the judge upheld Mr Gwyn–Jones’ decision, finding that there had been an agreement but that the introduction fee was only payable if the property was sold for £6.5 million. However, the Court of Appeal allowed Mr Barton’s appeal. Mr Gwyn–Jones now appeals to the Supreme Court.

Judgment appealed

[2019] EWCA Civ 1999

Parties

Appellant(s)

Timothy Gwyn Jones

Respondent(s)

Philip Barton and others

Appeal

Justices

Lord Briggs, Lord Leggatt, Lord Burrows, Lord Stephens, Lady Rose

Hearing start date

2 November 2022

Hearing finish date

2 November 2022