High court case on charges for maintenance services for aircraft

Corporate Oil and Gas Ltd v Marshall Aviation Services Ltd [2015] EWHC 3447 (Comm)

High Court (QBD)
Mr Justice Knowles CBE
27 November 2015

The Defendant provided aircraft maintenance and repair services. The Claimant was the owner of a business jet aircraft of the BAe125/800A model (“the Aircraft”). When the Claimant purchased the Aircraft it was already about 20 years old. On 4 May 2009, the Claimant delivered the Aircraft to the Defendant in order that work could be done to it.

This dispute concerned whether the Defendant had met its responsibilities while the Aircraft was with it, and whether the Claimant owed substantial further sums for work done. Before the proceedings, the Defendant asserted a lien to justify retaining possession of the Aircraft whilst (on the Defendant’s case) the Claimant did not pay what was due. The Claimant has now said it does not want the Aircraft back.

On the facts of the case, the Court held that there was no error in the Defendant’s assertion of a lien until its charges were agreed and paid. The Claimant had no claim in damages for conversion.