Remoteness restated

In an otherwise rather boring solicitors’ negligence case, the CA have included a useful nugget. All three of their Lordships accepted that where a person such as a professional can be liable either in contract or in tort — in other words, where there is concurrent liability — the relevant test for remoteness of damage is that in contract, namely the rule in Hadley v Baxendale. And quite right too.

See Wellesley Partners LLP v Withers LLP [2015] EWCA Civ 1146, November 11, 2015.

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Sale of goods — damages where no market

A straightforward sale of goods case in the CA on damages for breach of the duty to deliver where there’s no available market. Only semi-commercial, but still commercially relevant.

Dealers agree to sell a super-rare new Porsche limited edition to a buyer, then sell their allocation —  one car — to someone else (and subsequently lie about it). Apparently their objection is that the buyer might, horror of horrors, resell the car once he’s bought it: something which they rather pompously say is “against their policy”. Buyer recovers the difference between what he’d have paid under the spec he wanted (£135K) and what he’d have had to pay for a similar car elsewhere (£170K). The court confirms that s.51 SGA enacts Hadley v Baxendale in the specialised context of sale of goods. The fact that the only rough equivalent available elsewhere was just that — a very rough equivalent — is beside the point. The dealers go down for £35K plus costs. See Hughes v Pendragon Sabre Ltd (t/a Porsche Centre Bolton) [2016] EWCA Civ 18 (on BAILII).

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