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In Re Farepack Food And Gifts Notes

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FACTS The company, "Farepak", operated a Christmas savings scheme under which customers could spread their Christmas savings over a year by making small contributions month by month so that enough had accumulated by the beginning of November to buy a shopping voucher, a hamper or other goods. The scheme operated through a system of "agents", who were typically work colleagues, friends or members of the same family as the customers. The agents collected the money and forwarded it to Farepak. October 11, 2006, the directors decided to cease trading and Farepak went into administration on October 13, 2006. It was heavily insolvent so that any dividend would be only a few pence in the pound and it could not fulfil its Christmas 2006 orders with the result that a lot of people who relied on Farepak's scheme to provide them with their Christmas food or presents would suffer real hardship. In the three days leading up to the administration the directors sought to ring-fence the moneys received from customers in that period so that it could be returned to customers if necessary. The directors executed a trust deed that read as follows: (1) Farepak holds the Farepak Food and Gifts Limited Savings Club Account, account number 50114239 at sorting code 011001, with the Royal Bank of Scotland plc ('the Farepak Account'). Moneys are paid into this account by Farepak's customers. (2) Farepak ceased trading as from close of business on 10 October 2006 (3) Farepak has entered into this deed to ensure that, in the event of insolvency, money paid into the Farepak Account on or after 11 October 2006 is held on trust for the relevant payors and can be returned to them in due course.

HOLDING The agents were agents of the company, not consumers On the material that I have seen it seems apparent that the agents are agents of the company, and they are not agents of customers (or at least not in any material respect). The agents' terms and conditions specify that they are agents of the company (see above) and the trade association provisions (admittedly not strictly contractual for these purposes) indicate the same thing.

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