Goh Siew Wah v Columbia Films of Malaysia Ltd

JurisdictionSingapore
CourtFederal Court (Singapore)
Judgment Date09 September 1965
Date09 September 1965
Docket NumberSuit No 1251 of 1965 (Summons in Chambers No 1173 of 1965)

[1965] SGFC 3

Federal Court

A V Winslow J

Suit No 1251 of 1965 (Summons in Chambers No 1173 of 1965)

Goh Siew Wah
Plaintiff
and
Columbia Films of Malaysia Ltd
Defendant

D D Ironside (Ironside & DeSouza) for the plaintiff

D E S Chelliah (Drew & Napier) for the defendant.

Fester Tothergill v Russian Transport & Insurance Co [1927] WN 27 (folld)

O Sambaur, The [1958] MLJ 85 (distd)

Pelajaran Nasional Indonesia v Joe Siang & Co [1958] MLJ 113 (distd)

Admiralty Procedure Rulesr 9 (1)

Companies Ordinance (Cap 174, 1955Rev Ed)ss 301 (1) (c), 305 (consd)

Rules of the Supreme Court1934 , TheO IXrr 1, 10 (consd), O IIr 3, O LIr 23

Civil Procedure–Service–Defendant company incorporated abroad but carrying on business in Singapore–Writ addressed to company and not to individual whose name had been delivered to Registrar of Companies as person resident in Singapore authorised to accept service of process on behalf of the company–Service of writ on company's solicitor who had given undertaking to accept service–Whether writ defective–Whether service valid–Order IX rr 1 and 10 The Rules of the Supreme Court 1934–Sections 301 (1) (c) and 305 Companies Ordinance (Cap 174, 1955 Rev Ed)

The plaintiff issued a writ against the defendant company (“the company”), which was incorporated overseas but carried on business in Singapore. The service of the writ was effected on the company's solicitor who had undertaken to accept such service. The company subsequently entered a conditional appearance and applied to set aside the writ on the grounds that the writ was defective, in that it was addressed to the company and not to one Philip Lau, whose name had been delivered to the Registrar of Companies as the person resident in Singapore who was authorised to accept service of process on the company's behalf. Alternatively, it was contended that the service of the writ on the company was irregular as the writ had not been correctly addressed.

Held, dismissing the application with costs:

(1) The object of s 305 of the Companies Ordinance (Cap 174, 1955 Rev Ed) was to provide a method of service on a company incorporated abroad which carried on business locally. However, it was not the only method of service. The plaintiff was entitled to serve the writ by any other method provided by the rules including O IX r 1, which allowed service on the company's solicitor who had undertaken to accept such service. As from the date of the company's solicitor's undertaking, s 305 of the Companies Ordinance ceased to operate: at [12], [13] and [18].

(2) The writ satisfied the requirements of O II r 3 and was in accordance with the form prescribed. There was no merit in the...

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