Privity of contract


It is a fundamental principle that only those who are party to a contract can acquire obligations and rights under it. The common law has developed methods to avoid the harsh application of the principle of ‘privity’ and statute has created a general exception to the doctrine. In this lecture Anne Street explains the doctrine of privity and evaluates the common law and statutory challenges to it.

Issues covered include: Meaning of privity; Problems with privity; the Common Law response – tort, agency, collateral contracts, expanding damages and trusts; The response of Parliament – the Contract (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 – implementation and effect.

Tweddle v Atkinson 1861; White v Jones [1995]; the Eurymedon (New Zealand Shipping v Satterthwaite [1974]); Scruttons v Midland Silicone (1961); Shanklin Pier Ltd v Detel Products Ltd [1951]; Jackson v Horizon Holidays [1975]; Darlington v Wiltshier [1995]; Woodar v Wimpey (1980); Linden Gardens v Lenesta Sludge [1993]; The Albazero [1976]; St Martins v McAlpine [1994]; Panatown v McAlpine [2001]; Nisshin Shipping v Cleaves 2003.

Lecturer: Anne Street

Duration: 30 minutes

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