Alfred Mcalpine Construction Limited v Panatown Limited: HL 17 Feb 2000

A main contractor who was building not on his own land, would only be free to claim damages from a sub-contractor for defects in the building where the actual owner of the land would not also have had a remedy. Here, the land owner was able to sue under a deed of covenant entered into for this purpose, and so the main contractor would only be entitled to nominal damages. ‘It would be an extraordinary defect in our law if, where (for example) A enters into a contract with B that B should carry out work for the benefit of a third party, C, A should have no remedy in damages against B if B should perform his contract in a defective manner. Contracts in this form are a commonplace of everyday life.’


Lord Clyde Lord Goff of Chieveley Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle Lord Browne-Wilkinson Lord Millett


Times 15-Aug-2000, Gazette 05-Oct-2000, [2000] UKHL 43, [2000] 4 All ER 97, [2000] 3 WLR 946, [2001] 1 AC 518


House of Lords, Bailii


England and Wales


CitedDunlop v Lambert HL 16-Jun-1839
A cargo of whisky was lost in carriage by sea between Leith and Newcastle. A second shipment was made and the loss was claimed. The House was asked whether ‘in a question between a carrier and the person to whom the carrier is responsible in the . .
CitedWoodar Investment Development Ltd v Wimpey Construction UK Ltd HL 14-Feb-1980
Wimpey agreed to buy land from Woodar for a sum of andpound;850,000 of which andpound;150,000 was to be paid to Transworld. A month later Wimpey sent a letter purporting to rescind the contract and Woodar sued for damages including the . .
CitedAlbacruz (Cargo Owners) v Albazero ‘The Albazero’ HL 1977
The House was asked as to the extent to which a consignor can claim damages against a carrier in circumstances where the consignor did not retain either property or risk. To the general principle that a person cannot recover substantial damages for . .
CitedCampbell v Tyson IHCS 1840
It was asked whether earlier cases established that the mere contracting for the safe carriage, if made by the consignor, entitled him to sue the carrier for damages, if the carrier failed to perform the duty undertaken by him under that contract. . .
CitedDavis and Jordan v James 1770
. .
CitedJoseph v Knox 1813
. .
CitedThe Proprietors of the Cork Distilleries Co v The Directors of the Great Southern and Western Railway Co HL 1874
Ireland – A separate contract between consignor and carrier may co-exist with the contract between the carrier and the consignee. . .
CitedSeath and Co v Moore HL 1886
In Scotland the risk of loss of a consignment might pass before delivery, but the ownership would not pass until delivery was made. . .
CitedGreat Western Railway Co v Bagge and Co 1885
Where there are separate contracts between consignor and carrier and between the carrier and the consignee, where the risk of loss fell is a matter of contstruction of each contract. . .
CitedLinden Gardens Trust Ltd v Lenesta Sludge Disposals Ltd and Others; St. Martins Property Corporation Ltd v Sir Robert McAlpine HL 8-Dec-1993
A contractor had done defective work in breach of a building contract with the developer but the loss was suffered by a third party who had by then purchased the development. The developer recovered the loss suffered by the purchaser.
Held: . .
CitedHadley v Baxendale Exc 23-Feb-1854
Contract Damages; What follows the Breach Naturaly
The plaintiffs had sent a part of their milling machinery for repair. The defendants contracted to carry it, but delayed in breach of contract. The plaintiffs claimed damages for the earnings lost through the delay. The defendants appealed, saying . .
CitedDarlington Borough Council v Wiltshier Northern Ltd and Others CA 29-Jun-1994
The council owned land on which it wanted to build a recreational centre. Construction contracts were entered into not by the council but by a finance company, the building contractors being the respondents Wiltshier Northern Ltd. The finance . .
CitedRobinson v Harman 18-Jan-1848
Damages for breach of contract should compensate the victim of the breach for the loss of his contractual bargain. Baron Parke said: ‘The next question is: What damages is the plaintiff entitled to recover? The rule of the common law is, that where . .
CitedSwain v The Law Society HL 1983
The Solicitors’ Practice Rules had the force of a statute, being rules made by the Council of the Law Society with parliamentary sanction for the protection of that section of the public who might be in need of legal advice, assistance or oversight. . .
CitedLivingstone v Rawyards Coal Co HL 13-Feb-1880
Damages or removal of coal under land
User damages were awarded for the unauthorised removal of coal from beneath the appellant’s land, even though the site was too small for the appellant to have mined the coal himself. The appellant was also awarded damages for the damage done to the . .
CitedHeyman v Darwins Limited HL 1942
An arbitration clause will survive a repudiatory breach: ‘I agree with the Lord Chancellor in thinking that the true ground of the decision in Jureidini v National British and Irish Millers Insurance Co Ltd was the narrowness of the field of . .
CitedEast Ham Corporation v Bernard Sunley and Sons Ltd HL 1965
In cases in which the plaintiff is seeking damages for the defective performance of a building contract, which is a contract for labour and materials, the normal measure of his damages is the cost of carrying out remedial work, or re-instatement. . .
CitedRuxley Electronics and Construction Ltd v Forsyth HL 29-Jun-1995
Damages on Construction not as Agreed
The appellant had contracted to build a swimming pool for the respondent, but, after agreeing to alter the specification to construct it to a certain depth, in fact built it to the original lesser depth, Damages had been awarded to the house owner . .
CitedTito v Waddell (No 2); Tito v Attorney General ChD 1977
Equity applies its doctrines to the substance, not the form, of transactions. In respect of the rule against self dealing for trustees ‘But of course equity looks beneath the surface, and applies its doctrines to cases where, although in form a . .
CitedRadford v De Froberville 2-Jan-1977
A contract was made for the sale of a plot of land adjoining a house belonging to the plaintiff (the vendor) but occupied by his tenants, under which the defendant (the purchaser) undertook to build a house on the plot and also to erect a wall to a . .
CitedWaters v The Monarch Fire and Life Assurance Co 1856
The plaintiff must show an insurable interest in goods to make a claim. This will usually means that he is at least either a part-owner or bailee. . .
CitedThe Winkfield 1902
A bailee in possession has a right to recover for loss or damage to his bailor’s goods even though he would have had a good defence to an action by the bailor. . .
CitedGUS Property Management Ltd v Littlewoods Mail Stores HL 1982
The House referred to a claim for damages falling into ‘some legal black hole.’ . .
CitedBovis International Inc v The Circle Ltd Partnership 1995
It is no defence to the party in breach that by reason of the agent’s dealings with a third party the actual incidence of the loss may fall elsewhere. . .
CitedJones v Stroud District Council CA 1986
The plaintiffs were unable to prove that they had paid for repair carried out to their building and rendered necessary by the defendants’ negligence.
Held: After referring to the general principle that a plaintiff who seeks to recover damages . .
CitedMurphy v Brentwood District Council HL 26-Jul-1990
Anns v Merton Overruled
The claimant appellant was a house owner. He had bought the house from its builders. Those builders had employed civil engineers to design the foundations. That design was negligent. They had submitted the plans to the defendant Council for approval . .

Cited by:

CitedSmithkline Beecham Plc and others v Apotex Europe Ltd and others PatC 26-Jul-2005
Application was made to join in further parties to support a cross undertaking on being made subject to interim injunctions.
Held: On orders other than asset freezing orders it was not open to the court to impose cross-undertakings against . .
CitedSmithkline Beecham Plc Glaxosmithkline UK Ltd and Another v Apotex Europe Ltd and others (No 2) CA 23-May-2006
The parties to the action had given cross undertakings to support the grant of an interim injunction. A third party subsequently applied to be joined, and now sought to take advantage of the cross undertakings to claim the losses incurred through . .
CitedGard Marine and Energy Ltd and Another v China National Chartering Company Ltd and Another SC 10-May-2017
The dispute followed the grounding of a tanker the Ocean Victory. The ship was working outside of a safe port requirement in the charterparty agreement. The contract required the purchase of insurance against maritime war and protection and . .
CitedSS (Sri Lanka), Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for The Home Department CA 15-Jun-2018
The court was asked whether, in cases heard by the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) where the credibility of the appellant is in issue, there is a rule that a delay of more than three months between the hearing of oral evidence . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Construction, Damages

Updated: 03 August 2022; Ref: scu.131539