Duke of Portland v Wood's Trustees (No.1)

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtHouse of Lords
Judgment Date26 October 1926
Docket NumberNo.1.
Date26 October 1926
House of Lords

Viscount Dunedin, Ld. Atkinson, Lord Shaw of Dunfermline, Lord Wrenbury, Lord Carson.

Duke of Portland
Wood's Trustees.

Damages—Breach of contract—Measure of damages—Mineral lease—Obligation to hand over workings at end of lease without accumulation of water —Workings left seriously flooded—Whether loss of royalties the exclusive measure of damages.

Process—Appeal to House of Lords—Procedure in Appeals—Amendment of record in House of Lords—Crave to state new plea.

Mineral tenants were bound by their lease to leave the subjects at the end of their tenancy in good condition, without accumulation of water in the workings, so as to ‘enable the landlord or incoming tenant to pursue and carry on the workings.’At the termination of the tenancy at Martinmas 1922 the workings were left in a seriously flooded condition, and an action of damages was brought by the lessors against the tenants concluding for payment of a sum of over £70,000, being the estimated cost of putting the subjects in the condition in which they would have been if the defenders had fulfilled their obligations under the lease. The defenders pleaded that ‘the pursuers' claim should be limited to loss of royalties only.’ They estimated the value of these royalties at the sum of £15,000.

The First Division of the Court of Session repelled the defenders' plea, and allowed a proof before answer on the question of the amount of the pursuers' damage, holding that the capitalised royalty value of the unwrought minerals was not the sole legal measure of the pursuers' loss.

The defenders appealed to the House of Lords, and, at the hearing, sought to substitute a plea ‘that the pursuers' claim should be limited to loss of the value of the minerals and way leaves as at Martinmas 1922.’

The House refused to allow the amendment, in respect that it in effect raised a new case on which the First Division had had no opportunity of expressing an opinion; and affirmed the judgment of the First Division.

(In the Court of Session, 17th March 1926—1926 S. C. 640.)

In this action the Duke of Portland and others sued the trustees of the late Mr Adam Wood for damages in respect of breaches of the obligations contained in the leases of certain mineral subjects leased from the Duke of Portland by Adam Wood, who had been succeeded in the tenancies by his trustees after his death.

The tenancies came to an end in Martinmas 1922, and the pursuers' case was that the defenders had not fulfilled...

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5 cases
  • William Beggs (fe) For Judicial Review Of Decisions And Acts Etc
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Session
    • 9 May 2006
    ...before the House of Lords: see Clyde Navigation Trustees v Laird & Sons (1880) 7 R (HL) 115 and Duke of Portland v Wood's Trustees 1927 SC (HL) 1. If it was said that the present cause has not in its entirety been removed to the House of Lords, since the interlocutors appealed from by the r......
  • Euro Pools Plc V. Clydeside Steel Fabrications Limited
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Session
    • 17 January 2003
    ...measured in a variety of ways. Reference was made to Stair, Institutions, I.xvii.16, Duke of Portland v Wood's Trustees, 1926 S.C. 640; 1927 S.C. (H.L.) 1, Kvaerner Construction (Regions) Limited v Kirkpatrick & Partners Consulting Engineers Limited, 1999 S.L.T. 1120; Johnston v W. H. Brown......
  • Legal Services Centre Limited V. Miller Samuel And Others
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Session
    • 27 October 2009
    ...for the assessment of damages. I was referred in this context to Duke of Portland v. Wood's Trustees 1926 SC 640 at 649, 651 and 652, and 1927 SC(HL) 1; Haberstich v. McCormick & Nicholson 1975 SC 1, 9; Rieley v. Kingslaw Riding Stables 1975 SC 28, 40, Malmesbury v. Strutt & Parker [2007] E......
  • Aea Recruitment Consultants (edinburgh) Limited V. Alexander Mcnaughton And Others
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Session
    • 26 May 2006
    ...1926 SC 640 (per the Lord President (Clyde) at 651 - this reasoning was subsequently approved on appeal in the House of Lords reported at 1927 SC (HL) 1). Presented in this way the argument was clearly an issue of relevancy. Mr Ferguson did however contend that the argument could also be pr......
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