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F.L. Harcourt and anr. Vs. Clarke Rowlins Ker and Co. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Reported inAIR1941Cal662
AppellantF.L. Harcourt and anr.
RespondentClarke Rowlins Ker and Co. and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....arise. it appears that when the defendants, gregson and reed ward & co. instructed the firm of messrs. sanderson & co. to represent them in the suit, the partners in that firm were messrs. s. s. hodson., h. carey morgan, e. c. esson and h. p. sutclife. of these mr. esson is now dead. mr. hodson and mr. carey morgan have retired from india, and i assume that their names are no longer on the roll of attorneys of the court. the warrant in favour of messrs. sanderson & co. was filed on 18th april 1931. on 1st january 1933, messrs. sanderson & co., entered into an agreement with another firm of attorneys, messrs. morgan & co. which may conveniently be referred to as one of amalgamation; that is to say, the members of the two firms became partners in a new firm called 'sanderson &.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Panckridge, J.

1. To my mind this application raises a point which is quite a simple one, although I am disposed to concede that, if the facts were slightly different, questions of difficulty might arise. It appears that when the defendants, Gregson and Reed Ward & Co. instructed the firm of Messrs. Sanderson & Co. to represent them in the suit, the partners in that firm were Messrs. S. S. Hodson., H. Carey Morgan, E. C. Esson and H. P. Sutclife. Of these Mr. Esson is now dead. Mr. Hodson and Mr. Carey Morgan have retired from India, and I assume that their names are no longer on the roll of attorneys of the Court. The warrant in favour of Messrs. Sanderson & Co. was filed on 18th April 1931. On 1st January 1933, Messrs. Sanderson & Co., entered into an agreement with another firm of attorneys, Messrs. Morgan & Co. which may conveniently be referred to as one of amalgamation; that is to say, the members of the two firms became partners in a new firm called 'Sanderson & Morgans.' No fresh warrant was filed on behalf of the new firm nor were fresh warrants filed when the partners, either of the old firms or the new firm, retired. Nor when other gentlemen have been taken into partnership since the amalgamation, have fresh warrants been filed to bring the new partners on the record. Without ruling on the matter, I think that it may be that on a change in the constitution of a firm, a client is entitled to ask as of right for a change of attorney. This is only commonsense, because the partner who dies or retires may be the partner in whom the client has particular confidence, or again it may be that when a new partner joins the firm, that partner for some reason or other is not personally agreeable to the client. It is also possible that the Court would have no control over at now partner in respect of deposition fees and matters of that sort. But it appears to me absurd to hold that, if the client does not ask for a change of attorney, the partners remaining on the record are discharged, morely because another partner has died or retired, and I think the position is the same i with respect to a partner who joins the firm after the warrant has been filed.

2. Mr. Banerjee has not stressed the amalgamation, and I do not think that either the amalgamation, or the change in the name and style of the firm as constituted after the amalgamation, is of importance. The broad fact is that the warrant was given in favour of a firm of attorneys of which Mr. Sutcliffe was a member, and although the other members of the firm are no longer practising owing either to death or retirement, Mr. Sutcliffe is still in practice, and he has been on the record throughout .In addition to this Mr. Sutcliffe says that the firm of Sanderson & Co. has not ceased to exist, and that profits earned prior to the amalgamation are still being distributed among the former partners and their representatives. There is no law which forbids an individual attorney to carry on business under a firm name, although it may be that in such a case the warrant of attorney ought to be made out in his personal name with the description that he is carrying on business as Messrs. X & Co. I hold that Sanderson & Co., in the person of Mr. Sutcliffe, are still on the record and are entitled to the allocatur which the Registrar has refused. It follows that the application of the defendants, Reed Ward and Gregson, succeeds and I make an order in terms of the summons with costs, certified for counsel. The applicants are also entitled to the costs of taxation.


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