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Contact with chambers should be made through the Practice Management Team. They are happy to discuss client requirements and provide further information on such matters as the expertise and experience of individual members, fees, working practices and languages spoken. We have members able to work in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Greek and Chinese (Mandarin).

Outside working hours, a member of our team is always available to be contacted on matters of an urgent nature. Contact should be made using the Chambers main number or email.

To contact our Singapore office, please contact our BD Director, Asia, Rachel Foxton. Out of office hours calls will automatically be diverted to our clerking team in London.

London

20 Essex Street
London
WC2R 3AL

enquiries@twentyessex.com
t: +44 20 7842 1200
DX 0009 Lond/Chan Lane

Singapore

28 Maxwell Road
#02-03
Maxwell Chambers Suites
Singapore 069120

singapore@twentyessex.com
t: +65 62257230

Contact

Contact with chambers should be made through the Practice Management Team. They are happy to discuss client requirements and provide further information on such matters as the expertise and experience of individual members, fees, working practices and languages spoken. We have members able to work in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Greek and Chinese (Mandarin).

Outside working hours, a member of our team is always available to be contacted on matters of an urgent nature. Contact should be made using the Chambers main number or email.

To contact our Singapore office, please contact our BD Director, Asia, Rachel Foxton. Out of office hours calls will automatically be diverted to our clerking team in London.

London

20 Essex Street
London
WC2R 3AL

enquiries@twentyessex.com
t: +44 20 7842 1200
DX 0009 Lond/Chan Lane

Singapore

28 Maxwell Road
#02-03
Maxwell Chambers Suites
Singapore 069120

singapore@twentyessex.com
t: +65 62257230

20/05/2015

The English Electric Company Limited v Alstom UK Limited

This is an archived article, and some links may not work. Contact us if you have any questions.

On 20 May 2015, HHJ Mackie QC handed down his last written judgment in The English Electric Company Limited v Alstom UK Limited [2015] EWHC 924 (QB).  The claim concerned the extent to which the ultimate responsibility for an historic asbestos claim could be passed up a chain of sale and purchase agreements.  Mr Rodney Oliver was exposed to asbestos whilst working for Associated Electrical Industries (“AEI”) at their turbine manufacturing factory in Rugby in the 1960s.  He developed mesothelioma and died in August 2005.  His widow was paid substantial damages by AEI.  AEI had, however, sold the turbine business to its sister company, The English Electric Company Limited (“EE”), in 1970, who in turn had sold it to Alstom UK Limited (“Alstom”) in 1989.  The main issue in the case was whether, as a matter of construction, EE was liable to indemnify AEI under the 1970 sale and purchase agreement (it was common ground that, if it were, Alstom was liable to indemnify EE under the 1989 sale and purchase agreement).  HHJ Mackie QC held that EE was liable to indemnify AEI and the claim against Alstom succeeded.  The judgment also contains interesting comments on the point at which time starts to run for the purposes of limitation when a claim is brought under a contractual indemnity, the application of the maxim omnia praesumuntur contra spoliatorem and the relevance of the guidance in Canada Steamship Lines Ltd v R. [1952] AC 192 when construing an agreement between sister companies.

David Lewis QC and Thomas Corby acted for the claimant.


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