Machinery: fixture or chattel

In Hulme v Brigham ([1943] KB 152) the question was whether heavy machines in a factory were fixtures or chattels (and so whether or not they were included in a mortgage of the factory). They were attached to the ground only by their own (considerable) weight. They were driven by electricity and so were connected to driving belts which were attached to the factory. The machines could easily be detached from the belts. The machines were held to be chattels.

Birkett J made the following observation:

‘An article which is not physically attached to the land may yet in certain circumstances have become part and parcel of the land and have lost its chattel character. The question of annexation depends on a number of circumstances, and the cases show that each case must be considered and decided on its own circumstances, applying the principles of law which have been laid down.’ (pp. 154 – 5).

Michael Lower

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2 Responses to “Machinery: fixture or chattel”

  1. Bateman Says:

    Just so you know its Bingham not Brigham

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