Legal Subject: Competition between Creditors

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
William Richardson v. Martin Fenwick 3 Mar 1772 Debt, Competition between Creditors William Richardson, pursuer, and Martin Fenwick, defender, both sought to collect on payments originally from John Bedford and Son, an English firm. Due to financial trouble, checks endorsed by John Bedford and Son could not be cashed. Instead, Richardson and Fenwick sought to collect from several Scottish firms that owed money to John Bedford and Son, such as Gibson and Balfour, Colin Mclaren and Samuel Patron. Under a "letter of arrestment ad jurisdictionem fundandam," a creditor could bring a foreign debtor's property under the jurisdiction of the Scottish court. In this case, the foreign debtor's property was debt. Fenwick used two arrestments in the hands of Gibson and Balfour, as debtors to Bedford and Son, to establish jurisdiction. He afterwards obtained a decree against Bedford and Son for payment and recourse. On the other hand, Richardson, upon the registered protest of his bill, had taken out letters of arrestment against Gibson and Balfour, and M'Laren and others, as debtors to Bedford and Son. Richardson and Fenwick disputed who had priority to these debts. Fenwick alleged that Richardson's procedure for authorizing letters of arrestment was irregular and therefore ineffective. Richardson disputed Fenwick's claim, and further argued that Fenwick incorrectly identified the debtor as Bedford and Son instead of John Bedford and Son.