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White & Carter (Councils) Ltd v McGregor [1961] UKHL 5

Facts:

Ds sales manager entered into a contract with P to display ads on litter bins. He was not entitled to do this. Later that day D wrote to P to cancel contract. P refused to accept cancellation and displayed ads. P sues for full amount of contract

Issue(s):

Is P entitled to recover the contract price?

Ratio:

If there is a legitimate interest, other then immediate financial interest, to perform the contract then the party is entitled to recover damages.
**If you cant show you have legitimate interest in waiting or performing then you have a duty to mitigate

Analysis:

Majority - Where one party repudiates the other party has an option. May accept and sue for damages for breach, whether or not time for performance has come. May disregard it and contract remains in full effect.
Dissenting - Repudiation by one party does not put an end to a contract. If the party who repudiated still refuses to carry out the contract, then what? - The innocent party can sue for damages for loss associated with the breach

Holding:

P is entitled to damages


Discussion

  1. junius52 1

    pretty sure the ratio of this is wrong. The majority (Lord Reid) held that: When one party repudiates the contract, the other party can either i) accept repudiation and sue for damages; ii) continue to perform the contract and sue for the whole lot.

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