Legal Subject: Copartnership

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Alexanders vs. Gordons 1774 Copartnership This case involved a copartnery formed by members of the Alexander family and members of the Gordon family. The purpose of the copartnery was to manufacture dye using a method developed by George Gordon. After pursuing this business for a number of years, the Alexanders alleged that they had become substantial creditors of the copartnery. Accordingly, the Alexanders brought actions in Scottish court and eventually obtained a writ from the Court of King’s Bench in England. They also sought to dissolve the copartnery. In response, the Gordons raised an action for damages incurred as a result of the allegedly illegal proceedings instigated by the Alexanders; the Gordons also sought sums allegedly due to them in connection with the copartnery. As a result of this suit, the Gordons obtained an inhibition against the Alexanders. Robert and William Alexander petitioned the court to recall the inhibition, and later asked the court to sequester the assets of the copartnery.
Cockburn v. Partners of Douglas, Heron & Co 1780 Copartnership This case was about liability for a share of the failed partnership of Douglas, Heron, and Company. The pursuers, a group of the company’s partners, alleged that the disputed share belonged to Archibald Cockburn of Cockpen, who was both a stockholder and a director of the company. Cockburn claimed that he had acquired the share on behalf of the company, as part of an effort to prop up its stock price. However, the partners argued that as a director, Cockburn did not have the power to make such a purchase, and that even if he did, that power was not exercised properly.
Duncan v. Maclintock and Smith 1778 Copartnership, Trade, Bill of Lading In November 1774, Robert Maclintock Jr. freighted the brigantine Rainbow to carry goods to Virginia and return a cargo of wheat. His father and David Smith joined in the adventure, and the three wrote Virginia merchants Charles Duncan and John Brown, empowering them to draw on Maclintock jr. for the price. According to the defenders of this action, Smith and Maclintock Sr., in the summer of 1775, when the Rainbow returned to Clyde with the cargo of wheat, Maclintock jJr. informed his co-adventurers that the cargo was not for them, but solely for himself. Two years later he stopped paying his bills and left the country, and the defenders received a demand from Charles Duncan for the unpaid value of the Rainbow's cargo. Duncan, the pursuer of this action, argued that as co-adventurers the defenders were liable for the price of the cargo, and that the bill had been drawn solely on Maclintock jr.'s account out of secrecy: Maclintock Sr. was a principal in the Merchant Bank, and it was convenient for him that his name did not appear on the bill. Duncan further accused the defenders of obliterating evidence of a copartnership contained in documents possessed by Betty Maclintock, the aunt of Maclintock Jr. The defenders argued, on the other hand, that they were not co-partners with the younger Maclintock, and were therefore not liable for his debts. The bailies of Glasgow, who first heard the case, repelled the defense, and Lord Braxfield refused the defenders' bill of advocation. They then petitioned the Court to compel Lord Braxfield to pass the bill.
Findlay v. Graham 1773 Debt, Copartnership In 1739 James Findlay entered into a partnership with John Graham, James Stirling, Alexander Wotherspoon, and John Buchanan for slaughtering and selling cattle. Wotherspoon was appointed clerk, bookkeeper, and cashier of the partnership. Findlay was responsible for purchasing cattle and selling live cattle that were not fit for slaughter. Findlay was illiterate so he relied on Wotherspoon to keep proper accounts of the business. In February 1740, the partnership dissolved. The partners sought to settle all the accounts of the business. Findlay alleged that Wotherspoon was negligent in maintaining the company's accounts and argued that the partnership owed him money for the fifty cows he purchased in 1739 on partnership's behalf. The defenders claimed that Findlay was actually in debt to the company. They argued that Findlay was reimbursed for the fifty cows, or that he made this payment using company funds rather than his own funds.
Howe v. Bland 1782 Copartnership This case was about liability for a debt owed to John Howe, a wright, for his work for the Theatre Royal of Edinburgh. Howe alleged that the defender, John Bland, was liable as a joint lessee and partner to West Digges in the business of the theater. According to Howe, Bland and Digges were jointly and severally liable for the sum that was owed to him; because Digges was bankrupt, Howe sought to collect from Bland. Bland argued that he had given up his interest in the theater to Digges in exchange for a monthly fixed payment. Trained as a barrister, Bland signed case documents presenting his arguments.
John Finlay and Trustees v. Robert Finlay and Trustees 1772 Debt, Copartnership, Bankruptcy John Finlay, pursuer, was the son of Robert Finlay, defender. John and Robert operated a shoe factory in Glasgow as a partnership. Robert owned two-thirds interest and John owned one-third. The partnership experienced financial difficulty and was placed in trusteeship. John's trustees sued Robert's trustees to see if Robert owed any money to John from the venture. Robert insisted that he did not owe any money and sought certain documents and books from the partnership.