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D & C Builders v Rees [1966] 2 WLR 28


P did work for D. D paid some. D told that he would not pay more then 300 and that it is better then none/ P was having business trouble and said had no choice but to except it


Was the contract to accept less a binding contract?


When a creditor and a debtor enter a negotiation, which leads the debtor to suppose that, on payment of the lesser sum, the creditor will not enforce payment of the balance, and on the faith the debtor pays the lesser sum and the creditor accepts it a satisfaction: then the creditor will not be allowed to enforce payment of the remaining balance.
**This is only where there is true accord – creditor voluntarily agrees to accept the lesser sum


Payment of a lesser sum for a higher sum is not consideration from Foakes, but this case says Foakes is not good law


D held P in ransom - Creditor is allowed to enforce the full amount


  1. Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum 32

    On appeal, Denning, J. rejected the distinction made by way of cheque and case. Payment of a lesser sum by cheque is not valid as per Foakes v Beer.

    Estoppel only applies when it is inequitable for creditor to insist upon legal right to recover debt.

    Estoppel does not apply in the present case because the creditor did not voluntary ‘accord’ to take a lesser sum. The defendant obtained the accord under duress; therefore there is not true accord.

    Undue influence can make sufficient consideration void as there was no true accord made.

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