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The result was that Mr Salomon was entitled to be repaid the debt as the first secured creditor.In this case, Mr Salomon was the major shareholder, a director, an employee and a creditor of the company he created.It is quite common in Ireland for one person to have such a variety of roles and still be a different legal entity from the company. Lee formed his crop spraying business into a limited company in which he was director, shareholder and employee. Lee was self-employed and thus not covered by the legislation. Lee and the company he had formed were separate entities, and it was possible for Mr. The following case is similar to Salomon and Lee, but the principle of separate personality worked to the disadvantage of the plaintiff.When he was killed in a flying accident, his widow sought social welfare compensation from the State, arguing that Mr. The defendant company was involved in legal proceedings but did not have enough money for legal representation.Mr Salomon owned 20,000 £1 shares, and his wife and five children owned one share each.Some years later the company went into liquidation, and Mr Salomon claimed to be entitled to be paid first as a secured debenture holder.

However, although the principle of separation is central to company law, there are a number of situations when the company and its members can be identified together and treated as the same.

The corporation is liable for its taxes - not the owner.

This is how corporations may sue and be sued, and their assets are tracked separately.

The liquidator and the other creditors objected to this, claiming that it was unfair for the person who formed and ran the company to get paid first.

However, the House of Lords held that the company was a different legal person from the shareholders, and thus Mr Salomon, as a shareholder and creditor, was totally separate in law from the company A Salomon & Co Ltd.

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