Queensland Insurance Company Ltd v Lee Brothers Organisation

CourtFederal Court (Singapore)
Judgment Date04 July 1967
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No Y22 of 1967
Date04 July 1967
Queensland Insurance Co Ltd
Lee Brothers Organisation

[1967] SGFC 14

Wee Chong Jin CJ


Tan Ah Tah FJ

, and

F A Chua J

Civil Appeal No Y22 of 1967

Federal Court

Agency–Terms of appointment as agent–Agent selling insurance policies and collecting premiums–Claim against agent for premiums collected–Whether agent admitted to sum claimed by principal–Civil Procedure–Summary judgment–Acknowledgement of debt–Whether triable issue–Whether leave to defend should be granted–Order XIV The Rules of the Supreme Court 1934

The respondent acted as the agent of the appellant in selling insurance policies and collecting premiums of such policies on behalf of the appellant. The respondent's letter of appointment provided that should the appellant institute proceedings for the recovery of moneys due from the respondent, the commissions earned shall be forfeited and the full amount of the gross premiums shall be payable by the respondent.

Based on the appellant's statement of account, the gross premiums collected up to 30 June 1966 totalled $18,427.94, the commission payable to the respondent amounted to $5,808.06, and the net sum due to the appellant amounted to $12,619.88. On 22 August 1966, the respondent signed an acknowledgement confirming that it owed the appellants $12,619.88, and agreeing to pay the debt in full by monthly instalments of $1,000.

The respondent paid the appellant $1,000 and thereafter failed to pay the subsequent instalments. The appellant sued the respondent for the sum of $17,427.94, and applied under O XIV to enter final judgment against the respondent for $17,427.94 or alternatively for the sum of $11,619.88 being the balance of the sum admitted to be due by the respondent's acknowledgement dated 22 August 1966.

The Registrar granted the appellant leave to sign judgment for the sum of $11,619.88 and granted the respondent leave to defend the balance of the appellant's claim. The judge allowed the appeal against the Registrar's order and granted the respondent leave to defend the whole claim. The appellant appealed against the judge's decision.

Held, allowing the appeal:

The document dated 22 August 1966 contains a clear and unconditional acknowledgement that a sum of $12,619.88 was due and owing by the respondent to the appellant and an unconditional promise to pay it. As the respondent did not deny the signing of this document, and did not explain the circumstances under which it was signed, there was no basis for the granting of leave to defend the whole claim. The order made by the Registrar was accordingly restored: at [10], [15] to [17].

Rules of the Supreme Court1934 , TheO XIV (consd)

K C Chan and Goh Joon Seng (Braddell Brothers) for the appellant

John Pillai (Pillai &amp...

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1 cases
  • Otto Systems Singapore Pte Ltd v Greenline-Onyx Envirotech Phils, Inc
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 29 September 2006
    ......Background. 2          The plaintiff is a company incorporated in Singapore that is in the business of ... Pte Ltd v Ong Soon Huat [2003] 2 SLR 205 and Queensland Insurance Co Ltd v Lee Brothers Organisation [1965–1968] ......

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