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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34903
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Leading law case in the UK about 1920s regarding "misleading"

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Leading law case in the UK about 1920's regarding "misleading" accounts, and involving Attorney General and Senior Partner of the Auditors.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Could you explain a little more about the context of your enquiry please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I once had a note on this case which was taught at the City of London College about 50 years ago. I cannot now remember whether the date was just after WW1, or before that event,.


There was a shipping magnate involved, probably from Leadenhall Street, and he was a public figure with a loyal local following of supporters.


I think the case was bought by the Attorney General on the grounds that the company's accounts showed a rising trend in profits, whereas in fact some years were profitable, and some were loss making.


One or two somewhat hilarious assertions made in Court come to mind.

The Audit Partner was asked if he thought it right to show profits when losses had been incurred,and he replied "I do not see why not".(or words to that effect).


The trial lasted a week, and on Friday night when the Jury was still out, the Auditor's wife phoned to ask if her husband would be late for his dinner.


The call was fielded by a Court official who had been present all the week and had heard all the evidence. He replied "it is not for me to say what what the Jury may find, but if you ask for my opinion, I would say that your husband is likely to be six months late for his dinner".


In fact the Jury exonerated both Shipowner and Auditor. I have a recollection that the Auditor was Senior Partner of firm now absorbed by Messrs Price Waterhouse.


Hope these fragments will assist you Clare.,




Hi Michael
Are we sure it was a shipping magnet?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Clare - You asked if Shipping magnet - my text read Magnant, by which I mean Chairman of the line, and I believe, a major shareholder of the same.


I do not think I can give more information - it was (at the time) a leading case, with ramifications that were closely studied.- I would not have thought it beyond your professional competence to trace the case.


Best regards



Would it be the case detailed here
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks, Clare. Answer spot-on and am most grateful for your successful diligence.


Before we close down, have one small supplementary Q for you viz:-


You referred me to "Royal Mail Case", and if you scroll down to "Trial", they list a number of legal luminaries, including "J.E.Singleton".

I rather wonder if "J.E.S" was related to the late Sir Edward (Tim) Singleton? The latter being at one time President of the Law Society and a most kindly man who was unsparing in his help to others, including myself.


This is only a small personal query - please do not go out of the way if answer proves elusive.


With best wishes,



I believe that he was the Uncle of Sir Edward
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