Kings Norton Metal co ltd v Edridge, Merrett & co ltd (1897) 14 TLR 98:
Wallis, the rogue, wrote to Kings Norton Metal ordering goods and claiming to be associated with a reputable company known as Hallum & Co, when the company did not in fact exist. King’s Norton Metal sent the goods to the rogue, who, without paying King’s Norton Metal for the goods, then transferred it to the defendant, Edridge Merrett & Co Ltd, and vanished. Kings Norton Metal sought to recover the goods from Edridge Merrett & Co Ltd.
1. Whether or not Kings Norton Metal was mistaken as to the identity of the other party (the rogue)?
1. That Kings Norton Metal was not mistaken as to the identity of the rogue.
Whilst the rogue had misrepresented his attributes to appear more prominent than he actually was, he had not assumed the identity of a known and definite person with whom Kings Norton Metal intended to contract. It was therefore held by the Court of Appeal that Kings Norton Metal had intended to contract with the party behind the written order, whom they believed to be associated with Hallum & Co. Consequently, Kings Norton Metal could not recover the goods from Edridge Merrett & Co Ltd because the rogue had passed on a valid title to them.