This is an extract of our Bank Of Africa V. Cohen document, which we sell as part of our Conflict of Laws BCL Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.
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AFRICA V. COHEN
FACTS The plaintiffs carried on business as bankers in London and in the Transvaal. The defendant was the wife of L. W. Cohen, the matrimonial domicil being English. In November, 1903, Mr. Cohen was heavily indebted to the plaintiffs and was desirous of obtaining further advances from them, and the defendant was the registered owner of two plots of land near Johannesburg, the title deeds of which were held by the plaintiffs for safe custody on her behalf. By a power of attorney dated November 23, 1903, and executed by the defendant and her husband in London, after reciting that the plaintiffs had made advances to the defendant's husband and might from time to time make further advances to him, and that the defendant was desirous of securing the repayment of such sums as might from time to time be due to the plaintiffs by reason of the said advances and of giving to the plaintiffs for such purpose two mortgage bonds to be charged upon the two plots of land in question, the defendant, with the assistance and authority of her husband, as testified by his execution of the deed, appointed Alexander Wight, the manager of the bank at Johannesburg, or other the manager for the time being there, to be her attorney to represent her before any registrar of deeds or other proper authority in the Transvaal and acknowledge her indebtedness in such sums as he might fix and determine, and also for her to settle the terms and conditions as to the rate of interest, not exceeding 7 per cent. per annum...
On November 2, 1907, the plaintiffs obtained judgment against Cohen for 6538l. 19s. 1d., being the sum then due to them in respect of advances. The plaintiffs were unable to obtain registration in South Africa of the two plots of land in question by reason of the fact that neither of the above deeds sufficiently complied with the law of the Transvaal relating to married women, and the property still remained registered in the name of the defendant. The defendant subsequently repudiated her obligations under these deeds and demanded a return of the documents of title relating to the said property from the plaintiffs' manager at Johannesburg, and she threatened to take legal proceedings against the plaintiffs for their detention. The plaintiffs then brought this action for (1.) specific performance of the agreement contained in the deed of December 4, 1906, for the transfer to the plaintiffs of the said property; (2.) an injunction restraining the defendant from taking proceedings in the Transvaal to recover possession of the documents of title; (3.) an injunction restraining the defendant from charging or disposing of the
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