Economic Torts in UK Law

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Leading Cases
  • OBG Ltd and another v Allan and Others
    • House of Lords
    • 02 Mayo 2007

    To be liable for inducing breach of contract, you must know that you are inducing a breach of contract. It is not enough that you know that you are procuring an act which, as a matter of law or construction of the contract, is a breach. Nor does it matter that you ought reasonably to have done so. He took the information in the honest belief that the employee would not be in breach of contract.

  • Crofter Hand Woven Harris Tweed Company v Veitch
    • House of Lords
    • 15 Diciembre 1941

    It is enough to say that if there is more than one purpose actuating a combination, liability must depend on ascertaining the predominant purpose. If that predominant purpose is to damage another person and damage results, that is tortious conspiracy. If the predominant purpose is the lawful protection or promotion of any lawful interest of the combiners (no illegal means being employed), it is not a tortious conspiracy, even though it causes damage to another person.

  • Lonrho Plc (Original Respondents and Cross-Appellants) v Fayed and Others (Original Appellants and Cross-Respondents) (First Appeal); Lonrho Plc (Original Respondents and Cross-Appellants) v Fayed and Others (Original Appellants and Cross-Respondents) (Second Appeal)
    • House of Lords
    • 15 Octubre 1991

    But when conspirators intentionally injure the plaintiff and use unlawful means to do so, it is no defence for them to show that their primary purpose was to further or protect their own interests; it is sufficient to make their action tortious that the means used were unlawful.

  • HM Revenue and Customs v Total Network SL
    • House of Lords
    • 12 Marzo 2008

    The circumstances must be such as to make the conduct sufficiently reprehensible to justify imposing on those who have brought about the harm liability in damages for having done so. Bearing that in mind, the proposition that a combination of two or more people to carry out a scheme that is criminal in its nature and is intended to cause economic harm to some person does not, when carried out with that result, constitute a tort actionable by that person is, in my opinion, unacceptable.

  • Meretz Investments NV v ACP Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 11 Diciembre 2007

    Although my conclusion on the issue of unlawful means makes it unnecessary to decide the point, I would support Arden LJ's view at [127] that it is a defence to an action for conspiracy to injure by unlawful means if the defendant not only acted to protect his own interests, but did so in the belief that he had a lawful right to act as he did.

  • JSC BTA Bank v Khrapunov
    • Supreme Court
    • 21 Marzo 2018

    Compliance with the criminal law is a universal obligation. By comparison, legal duties in tort or equity will commonly and contractual duties will always be specific to particular relationships. Their relevance may depend on the purpose of the relevant statutory provision, which may or may not be consistent with its deployment as an element in the tort of conspiracy. For present purposes it is unnecessary to say anything more about unlawful means of these kinds.

  • Michael Douglas (1st Respondent) Catherine Zeta-Jones (2nd Respondent) Nothern & Shell Plc (3rd Respondent) v Hello Ltd (1st Appellant) Hola S.A. (2nd Appellant) Eduardo Sanchez Junco (3rd Appellant)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 18 Mayo 2005

    Professor Weir and most other writers, including Hazel Carty and Messrs Sales and Stilitz, are of the view that the gist of all the economic torts is the intentional infliction of economic harm. It is, however, very different from knowledge that economic harm will follow as a result of incidental consequences of conduct, when those consequences are not necessary steps in achieving the object of the conduct and are unsought.

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  • Crime and Courts Act 2013
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2013
    ... ... 2014/956, arts. 3-11) ... (133) In the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977—(a) in section 4(4) —(i) for ... order amend this Part by—(a) adding an offence of financial or economic crime;(b) removing an offence ... Annotations: Commencement Information ... ...
  • Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1982
    ... ... 30: Proceedings in England and Wales or Northern Ireland for torts to immovable property ... (1) The jurisdiction of any court in England ... HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES TO THE TREATY ESTABLISHING THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY, ... TITLE 1: SCOPE ... Article 1 ... (1) ... ...
  • Civil Procedure Rules 1998
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1998
    ... ... might render the defendant doubly liable under section 7 of the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 ... (3) Where the person referred to ... ruling under Article 177 of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, Article 150 of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic ... ...
  • Consumer Protection(Northern Ireland) Order 1987
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1987
    ... ... “the Department” means the Department of Economic Development; ... “gas” means— ... (a) any substance in a gaseous ... The Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 (1977 c. 32 The Torts (Interference ... ...
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Rethinking the Economic Torts
    • No. 72-4, July 2009
    • The Modern Law Review
    We propose a revised conceptual basis for the economic torts which is true to their historical role of regulating the competitive process. Claims that the economic torts are part of a wider princip...
  • Reviews
    • No. 65-3, May 2002
    • The Modern Law Review
    Books reviewed: Foster, The Ethics of Medical Research on Humans Vidmar, World Jury Systems Simpson, Human Rights and the End of Empire. Britain and the Genesis of the European Convention Carty, An...
    ... ... Conor Gearty* Hazel Carty , An Analysis of the Economic Torts , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001, xxx + 295pp, hb £40.00 ... ...
  • Reviews
    • No. 62-2, March 1999
    • The Modern Law Review
    Books reviewed: McCoubrey: The Obligations to Obey in Legal Theory Halpin: Rights and Law: Analysis and Theory Harrison: Good Faith in Sales Weir: Economic Torts Prosser: Law and the Regulators Goo...
    ... ... Roger Brownsword* Tony Weir , Economic Torts , Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997, xiii + 130pp, hb £17.99. Weir’s ... ...
  • Libel: Its Purpose and Reform
    • No. 74-6, November 2011
    • The Modern Law Review
    Discussion of libel often fails to define defamation law's purpose and thus properly to assess its value. This article argues that defamation's purpose relates to fundamental human interests in soc...
    ... ... ’ libel, ho wever , often protects not sociality but purely economic interests.The article thereforeargues that the protection of libel law , s opposed to that offered b y malicious falsehood and the economic torts, should be withdrawn from purely economic reputation,starting with ... ...
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Law Firm Commentaries
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