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Friday, 28 March 2014

Cherished numbers and auctions

Harrison v Madejski & Anor [2014] EWCA Civ 361 (28 March 2014)  is a case involving the sale in an auction of a car which had a cherished registration number - in suit, a Jaguar XJ220 with the number JM2. It was displayed at the auction without number plates and with only an out-of-date tax disc to give a clue about the registration number: the court decided in the end that Coys, the auctioneers, had done enough to ensure that bidders were aware that the car was offered without the registration number although they could have done more. The bidder should also have made enquiries.

The buyer had therefore unjustly enriched himself when he transferred the registration of the vehicle (under the cherished number) to himself. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal against that finding. It also allowed Coys' appeal against the costs order (which had awarded it only 50 per cent of what it would normally have had, recognising that it could have done more) but only to the extent of increasing it to 75 per cent.

Cressman v Coys of Kensington (Sales) Ltd [2004] 1 WLR 2775, [2004] EWCA Civ 47 referred to.

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