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In Seibe Gorman & Co Ltd v Barclays Bank Ltd, Slade J held that a company can create a fixed charge over its present and future book debts, provided that the company is prevented from dealing with these assets in the ordinary course of business. However, aspects of Slade J's analysis have been open to question following the Privy Council's advice in Agnew v Commissioner of Inland Revenue (the Brumark case), and both authorities have now been reviewed in National Westminster Bank Plc v Spectrum Plus Ltd. At first instance Morritt V-C declined to follow Siebe Gorman and held that a mere floating charge had been created by the debenture in question, which was substantially the same as the debenture considered in Siebe Gorman as regards the charge over book debts. On appeal, the Court of Appeal took a different view, and held that the debenture in question gave the chargee sufficient control for the charge to take effect as a fixed charge. This comment considers SPECTRUM PLUS and its analysis of Siebe Gorman in the light of Brumark.

Keywords: Agnew v Commissioner of Inland Revenue; Book Debts; Brumark; Debentures; Floating Charge; Gorman & Co Ltd v Barclays Bank Ltd; Morritt V-C; SPECTRUM PLUS; Slade J

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Until 2007 the King's Law Journal was known as the King's College Law Journal. It was established in 1990 as a legal periodical publishing scholarly and authoritative Articles, Notes and Reports on legal issues of current importance to both academic research and legal practice. It has a national and international readership, and publishes refereed contributions from authors across the United Kingdom, from continental Europe and further afield (particularly Commonwealth countries and USA). The journal includes a Reviews section containing critical notices of recently published books.

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