Anticipatory Breach in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Golden Strait Corporation v Nippon Yusen Kubishika Kaisha (the "Golden Victory")
    • House of Lords
    • 28 March 2007

    The lodestar is that the damages should represent the value of the contractual benefits of which the claimant had been deprived by the breach of contract, no less but also no more.

  • Maredelanto Compania Naviera SA v Bergbau-Handel GmbH (The Mihalis Angelos)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 01 July 1970

    Seeing that the renunciation itself is the breach, the damages must be measured by compensating the injured party for the loss he has suffered by reason of the renunciation. You must take into account all contingencies which might have reduced or extinguished the loss. It follows that if the defendant has under the contract an option which would reduce or extinguish the less, it will be assumed that he would exercise it.

    One must look at the contract as a whole, and if it is clear that the innocent party has lost nothing, he should recover no more than nominal damages for the loss of his right to have the whole contract completed. The assumption has to be made that, had there been no anticipatory breach, the defendant would have performed his legal obligation and no more. The rights lost to the owners by reason of the assumed anticipatory breach were thus certain to be rendered valueless.

    If the contractual rights which he has lost were capable by the terms of the contract of being rendered either less valuable or valueless in certain events, and if it can be shown that those events were, at the date of acceptance of the repudiation, pre-destined to happen, then in my view the damages which he can recover are not more than the true value, if any, of the rights which he has lost, having regard to those pre-destined events.

  • Stocznia Gdanska SA v Latvian Shipping Company (No 2)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 21 June 2002

    In my judgment, there is of course a middle ground between acceptance of repudiation and affirmation of the contract, and that is the period when the innocent party is making up his mind what to do. If he does nothing for too long, there may come a time when the law will treat him as having affirmed. If he maintains the contract in being for the moment, while reserving his right to treat it as repudiated if his contract partner persists in his repudiation, then he has not yet elected.

    It seems to me that an affirmation of a repudiatory actual breach may differ from an affirmation of a merely anticipatory repudiatory breach in that the former breach is complete at the time it occurs whereas the latter breach looks to the future. An affirmation of an actual breach may therefore be said to leave nothing outstanding for the future, in that the worst has already occurred, whereas an affirmation of an anticipatory breach still leaves the future open.

  • Vitol S.A. v Norelf Ltd (Santa Clara)
    • House of Lords
    • 20 June 1996

    (2) An act of acceptance of a repudiation requires no particular form: a communication does not have to be couched in the language of acceptance. It is sufficient that the communication or conduct clearly and unequivocally conveys to the repudiating party that that aggrieved party is treating the contract as at an end.

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  • European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2020
    ... ... under subsection (5) if the person's deportation—(a) would be in breach of the obligations of the United Kingdom under Article 20 of the EU ... Anticipatory exercise of powers in relation to withdrawal agreement etc ... (14) Any ... ...
  • Planning (Wales) Act 2015
    • Wales
    • January 01, 2015
    ... ... PART 7: ENFORCEMENT, APPEALS ETC ... Enforcement ... 43: Breach of planning control: enforcement warning notice ... (1) TCPA 1990 is ... 30) (anticipatory exercise of powers) in relation to this Act ... (4) The following ... ...
  • The Lake Lothing (Lowestoft) Third Crossing Order 2020
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2020
    ... ... with an interest or right to which this article applies; or(b) a breach of a restriction as to the user of land arising by virtue of contract ... 2 para. 20 in force at 21.5.2020, see art. 1 ... (21) Anticipatory steps towards compliance with any requirementIf before this Order came ... ...
  • The A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet Development Consent Order 2022
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2022
    ... ... under the terms of the planning permission does not constitute a breach of the terms of this Order ... (2) Anything done by the undertaker in ... SCH-2.29 ... 29. Anticipatory steps towards compliance with any requirement ... If before the coming ... ...
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Books & Journal Articles
  • The Embiricos Principle and the Law of Anticipatory Breach
    • No. 47-4, July 1984
    • The Modern Law Review
  • Understanding Intimidation
    • No. 77-1, January 2014
    • The Modern Law Review
    This article examines the gist, vitality and practical utility of the tort of intimidation and identifies what count as unlawful threats and as actionable harm. While two versions of the tort have ...
    ... ... supplied under the law of contract via the doctrines of anticipatory breach, duress and economic duress. The article concludes with two radical ... ...
    • No. 37-2, March 1974
    • The Modern Law Review
    ... ... which might have occurred had there never been a breach of duty or a breach of contract might be taken as an ... Imagine a shipowner who sues for an anticipatory breach of a charterparty, but who would not have been ... ...
    • No. 41-2, March 1978
    • The Modern Law Review
    ... ... Many of the cases commonly cited are not in point because they deal with cases of anticipatory breach and not with the analysis of the effeot of an immediate repudiatory breach. This distinction is vital, for, as the ... ...
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Law Firm Commentaries
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