Setchim & anr v Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs & Ors [2014] EWHC 2218 (Ch)

WTLR Issue: November 2014 #144

In the matter of: THE COMMONWEALTH INSTITUTE (IN MEMBERS' VOLUNTARY LIQUIDATION) AND IN THE MATTER OF THE INSOLVENCY ACT 1986

1. RICHARD SETCHIM

2. IAN OAKLEY SMITH (as liquidators of the Commonwealth Institute)

V

1. THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

2. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

3. THE CHARITY COMMISSION

4. THE TRUSTEES OF THE COMMONWEALTH EDUCATION TRUST

Analysis

The Commonwealth Institute (CIC) (a charitable company limited by guarantee) was placed in members’ voluntary winding-up on 19 July 2007. The CIC had a complex history which dated back to 1887. In the 1950s HM Government (HMG) proposed that the predecessors to the CIC trustees should surrender their lease of their premises in South Kensington (the Kensington building) and move to a new premises at Holland Park. The predecessors of CIC were in receipt of rent and benefited from free utilities (the associated entitlements) under the terms of a sub-lease of the Kensington building. The move to Holland Park meant that these benefits were lost.

Counsel details

Martin Moore QC and Matthew Parfitt (Erskine Chambers, 33 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1EN, tel 020 7242 5532, e-mail clerks@erskinechambers.com) instructed by Bircham Dyson Bell (50 Broadway, London SW1H 0BL, tel 020 7227 7000, e-mail enquiries@bdb-law.co.uk) for the applicants.

Peter Arden QC, Tim Akkouh and Anna Scharnetzky (Erskine Chambers, 33 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1EN, tel 020 7242 5532, e-mail clerks@erskinechambers.com) instructed by the Treasury Solicitor (One Kemble Street, London WC2B 4TS, tel 020 7210 3000, e-mail thetreasurysolicitor@tsol.gsi.gov.uk) for the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

Legislation referenced

Legislation in bold has further reading - click to view.

  • Charities Act 1960, ss45
  • Charities Act 1993, ss36, 39
  • Commonwealth Act 2002, ss1, 3 and Sch 3
  • Commonwealth Institute Act 1958, ss1, 2, 3, 5, 6
  • Companies Act: 1985
  • Imperial Institute (Transfer) Act 1902, s9
  • Imperial Institute Act 1925, ss2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and Sch 1, 2
  • Insolvency Act 1986, s112