Lifting the veil under case law, Business Law and Ethics

Lifting the veil under Case Law:

                 Numerous English cases have been variously classified by English writers as instances of "lifting the veil of  incorporation". A few of these cases are summarised  below. But it should be noted that the particular judges were merely ascertaining the facts of the case before  them and making the appropriate decision rather than  consciously or deliberately "lifting the veil of incorporation". It is the writers who have categorised the said cases as instances of lifting the veil because the decisions in those cases appeared to them to be a  modification of the principle in Salomon's case. These cases may be explained under the following headings.


One of the ratio decidendi in Salomon's case was stated by Lord Macnaghten that "the company is not in law the agent of the subscribers". This proposition was affirmed by the English Court of Appeal and extended to associated companies in Ebbw Vale Urban District Council v South  Wales Traffic Area Licensing Authority when Lord Cohen stated:

"Under the ordinary rules of law, a parent company and  a subsidiary company, even a 100% subsidiary company, are  distinct legal entities, and in the absence of an agency  contract between the two companies, one cannot be said  to be the agent of the other. That seems to me to be  clearly established by Salomon v Salomon & Co Ltd (3).

Posted Date: 1/12/2013 2:08:40 AM | Location : United States

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