The case of Salomon V. Salomon & Co., commonly referred to as the Salomon case, is both the foundational case and precedence for the doctrine of corporate personality and the judicial guide to lifting the corporate veil.
The House of Lords in the Salomon case affirmed the legal principle that, upon incorporation, a company is generally considered to be a new legal entity separate from its shareholders. The court did this in relation to what was essentially a one person Company, which is Mr Salomon.
1.5.2.a: Facts and decision of the Salomon Case
Mr Aron Salomon was a British leader merchant who for many years operated a sole proprietor business, specialized in manufacturing leather boots. In 1892, his son, also expressed interest in the businesses. Salomon then decided to incorporate his businesses into a limited company, which is Salomon & Co. Ltd.
However, there was a requirement at the time that for a company to incorporate into a limited company, at least seven persons must subscribe as shareholders or members. Salomon honored he clause by including his wife, four sons and daughter into the businesses, making two of his sons directors, and he himself managing director. Interestingly, Mr. Salomon owned 20,001 of the company's 20,007 shares - the remaining six were shared individually between the other six shareholders. Mr. Salomon sold his business to the new corporation for almost £39,000, of which £10,000 was a debt to him. He was thus simultaneously the company's principal shareholder and its principal creditor.
At the time of liquidation of the company, the liquidators argued that the debentures used by Mr. Salomon as security for the debt were invalid, and that they were based on fraud. Vaughan Williams J. accepted this argument, ruling that since Mr. Salomon had created the company solely to transfer his business