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Cover An Introduction to Tort Law

13. Economic Torts  

Celebrated for their conceptual clarity, titles in the Clarendon Law Series offer concise, accessible overviews of major fields of law and legal thought. This chapter deals with economic torts. Economic torts include deceit, malicious falsehood, passing-off, inducing breach of contract, intimidation, and conspiracy. The first three involve deception: deceit is telling lies to the claimant; telling lies to a third party is malicious falsehood; misleading a competitor's customers, even bona fide, is passing-off. The other three torts all involve collaboration, whether reluctant, as a result of threats, complaisant as a result of positive incentives, or spontaneous. The chapter discusses the nature of the harm; the defendant's conduct and purpose, anti-competitive conduct; and the various ‘economic torts’ in terms of their various components: intention, conduct, and wrongfulness.


Cover Street on Torts

15. The general ‘economic’ torts  

This chapter explains the five general economic torts: inducing breach of contract, causing loss by unlawful means (after OBG v Allan), lawful means conspiracy, unlawful means conspiracy (after Total Network v Revenue and Customs Commissioners as well as JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov), and intimidation. The chapter notes that what binds these torts together is their focus on the element of intention and causation of loss, as well as the tendency of the courts to apply them in business and other financial settings. Otherwise, the torts are quite disparate in their operation. It is argued that some of the torts should be seen as applicable outside the dominant setting, in part where they reflect general principles of responsibility for harm causation.