Currie v Misa (1875) L.R. 1 App. Cas. 554, House of Lords

“Consideration is . . . some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to the one party, or some forbearance, detriment, loss or responsibility given suffered, or undertaken by the other.” (Lush J)

Partial Payment
Foakes v Beer (1884) L.R. 9 App. Cas. 605, House of Lords

Part payment of a debt on or after the date the debt is due is not good consideration for the creditors promise not to claim the balance

Past Consideration & Existing Obligations
Re McArdle (1951) Ch. 669, Court of Appeal

Past consideration is not valid (exception in Pao On)

Ward v Byham (1956) 1 W.L.R. 496, Court of Appeal

A promise to perform an existing duty, or the performance of it, should be regarded as good consideration, because it is a benefit to the person to whom it is given.

Pao On v Lau Yiu Long (1979) 3 W.L.R. 435, Privy Council

An act done prior to a promise will be good consideration if: Act was done at the promisor’s request Parties understood that that act would be remunerated; and if promise had occurred in advance would have been enforceable Pre-existing contractual obligation to a 3d party can be valid consideration’ in absence of duress.

Williams v Roffey Bros. & Nicholls (Contractors) Ltd (1991) 2 W.L.R. 1153; Q.B. 1, Court of Appeals

“factual benefits” given from one to another party can be consideration.

Privity, Consideration, Agency
Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre v Selfridge & Co (1915) A.C. 847, House of Lords

PRIVITY doctrine: only a party to a contract can sue. CONSIDERATION doctrine: person with whom a contract not under seal is made is only able to enforce it if consideration from the promisee to the promisor. AGENCY doctrine: principal not named in the contract can only be sued if the promisee contracted as an agent.

Promissory Estoppel
Stilk v Myrick (1809) 2 Campbell 317; 170 E.R. 1168

Where A is already under contract to do something for B, and B makes a fresh promise on condition that A performs his duty, the performance will not amount to consideration for the fresh promise, and therefore A cannot sue upon it.

Central London Property Trust Ltd v High Trees House Ltd (1947) K.B. 130, King’s Bench

A promise, with no consideration that includes foregoing of a party’s legal rights, and that the party knows will be relied upon, is binding (until the party gives reasonable notice to resume rights) under the doctrine of promissory estoppel.

Combe and Combe (1950) K.B. 215, King’s Bench

PE is a shield, not a sword (cannot be used as a cause of action).


Chappell & Co Ltd v Nestle Co. Ltd. (1959) 3 W.L.R. 168, House of Lords

Consideration must be sufficient but need not be adequate.

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