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Chapter

Cover Anson's Law of Contract

11. Illegality  

Jack Beatson, Andrew Burrows, and John Cartwright

This chapter considers what counts as illegality and the effect of illegality on a contract (and consequent restitution). The approach of the Courts to illegality has been transformed for the better, and simplified, by the Supreme Court in Patel v Mirza in 2016. Illegal conduct, tainting a contract, can vary widely from serious crimes (eg murder) to relatively minor crimes (eg breach of licensing requirements) through to civil wrongs and to conduct that does not comprise a wrong but is contrary to public policy. As regards the effect of illegality, where a statute does not deal with this, the common law approach is now to apply a range of factors. A final section of the chapter examines contracts in restraint of trade.

Chapter

Cover Anson's Law of Contract

1. Introduction  

Jack Beatson, Andrew Burrows, and John Cartwright

This introductory chapter first considers the nature and function of contract. It then discusses the contractual obligations in English law; the content of the contract law as set out in this book, which is concerned with the ‘general principles’ of contract rather than the detailed rules applicable to different types of contracts; the location of contract as part of the law of obligations and its relation to other parts of the law of obligations, tort and restitution of an unjust enrichment, and property law.

Chapter

Cover Anson's Law of Contract

19. Restitutionary Awards  

Jack Beatson, Andrew Burrows, and John Cartwright

This Chapter considers restitutionary remedies for breach of contract. It discusses the recovery of money paid, restitution in respect of services or goods, and an account of profits or damages measured by benefit to contract-breaker.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Directions

1. Introduction  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. This introductory chapter explains how contract law is structured and how it fits into the overall scheme of the law of obligations and into English law more generally. It explains the boundaries between contract law, torts and unjust enrichment and restitution. It also explains the wider range of situations covered by the law of contract, and puts the law of contract into its social and economic context.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Directions

1. Introduction  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams, and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. This introductory chapter explains how contract law is structured and how it fits into the overall scheme of the law of obligations and into English law more generally. It explains the boundaries between contract law, torts and unjust enrichment, and restitution. It also explains the wider range of situations covered by the law of contract, and puts the law of contract into its social and economic context.

Chapter

Cover Koffman, Macdonald & Atkins' Law of Contract

23. Additional chapter: An outline of the law of restitution  

This chapter presents an outline of the law of restitution and the factors that might make an enrichment unjust. The law of restitution is part of the law of obligations alongside contract and tort, although it also includes elements of property law. The law of restitution can be seen as a response to an unjust enrichment where the defendant should not be unjustly enriched at the expense of the claimant, although the principles may extend beyond this. Unjust enrichment requires one party to have been enriched; for the enrichment to have been at the expense of the other party; and for the enrichment to have been unjust. There are defences available to the enriched party.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

17. Non-compensatory remedies  

Specific performance, debt, and restitution

This chapter considers a range of non-compensatory remedies that are available at English law in cases of breach. Non-compensatory remedies seek to respond to breach of contract in ways other than compensation. The starting point for non-monetary obligations is that breach is best remedied through the award of damages. Literal enforcement of such an obligation, through an order for specific performance or an injunction, is only awarded in exceptional circumstances. In contrast, obligations involving the payment of a definite sum of money are frequently literally enforced through the remedy of debt. This chapter first examines literal performance as a non-compensatory remedy before discussing debt, gain-based remedies, and restitution interest.

Chapter

Cover O'Sullivan & Hilliard's The Law of Contract

1. General themes and issues  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This chapter offers an introduction to the law of contract and contract theory. It explains that the law of contract provides the ground rules for what is needed for a contract to be valid and enforceable and for resolving disputes. It introduces the reader to key themes and concepts in the law of contract, and considers the crucial borderlines with others legal subjects, such as tort, restitution and public law. This chapter also considers some international developments beyond the domestic law of contract.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Contract Law

Attorney General v Blake & another [2000] UKHL 45; [2001] 1 AC 268  

Essential Cases: Contract Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Attorney General v Blake & another [2000] UKHL 45; [2001] 1 AC 268. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Nicola Jackson.

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Cover Essential Cases: Contract Law 5e

Attorney General v Blake & another [2000] UKHL 45; [2001] 1 AC 268  

Essential Cases: Contract Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Attorney General v Blake & another [2000] UKHL 45; [2001] 1 AC 268. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Nicola Jackson.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

15. Remedies providing for specific relief and restitutionary remedies  

Robert Merkin and Séverine Saintier

Poole’s Casebook on Contract Law provides a comprehensive selection of case law that addresses all aspects of the subject encountered on undergraduate courses. This chapter deals with remedies providing for specific relief and so-called ‘restitutionary’ remedies. It first considers debt claims (agreed sums), before turning to specific performance and injunctions. It concludes by discussing restitution—recovery where there has been a total failure of consideration, and recovery on a quantum meruit (as where a contract fails to materialize)—following the Supreme Court decision of Morris-Garner and another v One Step (Support Ltd) and its impact on Wrotham Park damages and the availability and nature of the account of profits in Attorney-General v Blake.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

15. Remedies providing for specific relief and restitutionary remedies  

Robert Merkin, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Course-focused and comprehensive, Poole’s Textbook on Contract Law provides an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. Equitable remedies that provide for specific relief refer to remedies for breach of contract which compel actual performance rather than simply compensating for loss caused by breach. Compulsion of performance may take the form of claiming an agreed sum, a claim seeking specific performance, or a claim seeking an injunction. The claim or action for an agreed sum gives effect to the claimant’s performance interest by ordering the party in breach to pay the liquidated sum (debt), his agreed performance under the contract. The chapter examines the remedy of specific performance as a court order that compels actual performance of agreed obligations (other than payment of the price). As an equitable remedy it is available at the discretion of the court but only when damages would be an inadequate remedy. This chapter also examines remedies providing for specific relief and restitutionary remedies, the latter of which refer to recovery based on failure of consideration and quantum meruit. Finally, the chapter examines the availability of specific compensatory remedies in instances where there is no financial loss, namely the exceptional remedy of an account of profit or the remedy of ‘negotiating damages’—and their relationship.

Chapter

Cover Complete Contract Law

11. Remedies Part III: Non-compensatory Remedies  

This chapter identifies some alternative, exceptional remedies that could be available to an innocent party following a breach of contract. Generally, they can only be used when an award of compensatory damages would for some reason not be adequate or is unavailable. The chapter starts with specific performance and injunctions. Both remedies were developed in equity rather than the common law. This means that their application is largely discretionary and so the chapter looks at the factors that could be relevant to the exercise of that discretion. It then turns briefly to the remedy of restitution for unjust enrichment. While this is a different area of law, it can provide a remedy where there was thought to have been a contract but it turns out there was not one. In certain circumstances, it could also provide a remedy following a breach. A basic grasp of this area will also help to understand the very exceptional ‘restitution for a wrong’ remedy. Finally, the chapter considers the remedy of negotiating damages as well as agreed damages clauses.

Chapter

Cover O'Sullivan & Hilliard's The Law of Contract

18. Remedies III: other non-compensatory or exceptional remedies  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This chapter examines non-compensatory remedies for breach of contract. It analyses why a non-compensatory remedy can be desirable and discusses the four types of non-compensatory remedies. These include restitution for total failure of basis, forfeiture of deposits, negotiation damages (or the ‘user principle’), disgorgement, and punitive damages.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

15. Remedies providing for specific relief and restitutionary remedies  

Robert Merkin KC, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Poole’s Casebook on Contract Law provides a comprehensive selection of case law that addresses all aspects of the subject encountered on undergraduate courses. This chapter deals with remedies providing for specific relief and so-called ‘restitutionary’ remedies. It first considers debt claims (agreed sums), before turning to specific performance and injunctions. It concludes by discussing restitution—recovery where there has been a total failure of consideration, and recovery on a quantum meruit (as where a contract fails to materialize)—following the Supreme Court decision of Morris-Garner and another v One Step (Support Ltd) and its impact on Wrotham Park damages and the availability and nature of the account of profits in Attorney General v Blake.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

23. Damages  

This chapter examines the entitlement of a claimant to recover damages in respect of a breach of contract committed by the defendant and is organized as follows. Section 23.2 discusses the different measures of damages that can be awarded, while 23.3 analyses the performance interest. Section 23.4 examines the circumstances in which a claimant can seek damages based on his ‘reliance’ losses rather than his performance interest, and 23.5 discusses the circumstances in which damages may be awarded to protect the claimant’s ‘restitution’ interest. Section 23.6 examines the entitlement of a claimant to recover damages in respect of non-pecuniary losses, particularly ‘mental distress’. Section 23.7 considers the general rule that damages are assessed as at the date of breach and the exceptions to that rule, while 23.8 considers the various doctrines which the courts use in order to keep liability within acceptable bounds. These include remoteness, mitigation, and contributory negligence. Section 23.9 examines the circumstances in which a claimant can recover what is known as ‘negotiating damages’ or the defendant can be ordered to account to a claimant for the profits that he has made from his breach of contract. Section 23.10 looks at the possibility that exemplary damages might play a role in breach of contract cases. The chapter concludes, in the final sections, with a discussion of agreed damages clauses (and related clauses) and their legal regulation.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

13. Damages  

Where the parties have not agreed on the consequences of breach or any agreed remedies are unenforceable, the default is that the aggrieved party is always entitled to expectation damages for breach of contract. This chapter discusses: (1) the types of loss recognised by contract law and so compensable for breach of contract; (2) how loss is calculated; (3) when contract law allows departures from the expectation measure and allows awards claims based on reliance, restitution, account of profits, or loss of opportunity to bargain (negotiating damages); and (4) when consumers have the right to a price reduction.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Contract Law

12. Additional Remedies  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, answer plans and suggested answers, author commentary, and other features. The standard common law remedy of damages will not always prove adequate for the victim of a breach of contract. Equity therefore developed a number of additional remedies, discretionary in nature, aimed at ensuring that a claimant was not unreasonably confined to an award of damages; in particular, specific performance and injunctions. The possibility of awarding restitutionary damages, in part to offset any unjust enrichment secured by a contract-breaker, is also considered.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

15. Remedies providing for specific relief and restitutionary remedies  

Robert Merkin KC, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Course-focused and comprehensive, Poole’s Textbook on Contract Law provides an accessible overview of the key areas of the law curriculum. Equitable remedies that provide for specific relief refer to remedies for breach of contract which compel actual performance, rather than simply compensating for loss caused by breach. Compulsion of performance may take the form of claiming an agreed sum, a claim seeking specific performance, or a claim seeking an injunction. The claim or action for an agreed sum gives effect to the claimant’s performance interest by ordering the party in breach to pay the liquidated sum (debt), his agreed performance under the contract. The chapter examines the remedy of specific performance as a court order that compels actual performance of agreed obligations (other than payment of the price). As an equitable remedy it is available at the discretion of the court, but only when damages would be an inadequate remedy. This chapter also examines remedies providing for specific relief and restitutionary remedies, the latter of which refer to recovery based on failure of consideration and quantum meruit. Finally, the chapter examines the availability of specific compensatory remedies in instances where there is no financial loss, namely the exceptional remedy of an account of profit or the remedy of ‘negotiating damages’—and their relationship.