The television company had agreed with the actor defendant for him to appear in a production. He breached the contract. The company sought both loss of profits and for the expense incurred. The issue before the Court of Appeal was whether such damages extended to expenditure incurred before, as well as after, the contract was made.
Held: They did so long as it was reasonably within the contemplation of the parties that they were likely to be wasted if the contract were broken.
Lord Denning MR discussed the choice facing a party seeking damages for breach of contract (an employee not giving appropriate notice): ‘It seems to me that a plaintiff in such a case as this has an election: he can either claim for loss of profits: or for his wasted expenditure but he must elect between them. He cannot claim both. If he has not suffered any loss of profit – or cannot prove what his profit would have been – he can claim in the alternative the expenditure which has been thrown away that is, wasted by reason of the breach.’
Lord Denning MR
 1 QB 60,  3 All ER 690
England and Wales
Cited – Cullinane v British ‘Rema’ Manufacturing Co Ltd CA 1954
The court considered the possibility of a claim in breach of contract for damages for both capital loss and loss of profit.
Lord Evershed MR said: ‘It seems to me, as a matter of principle, that the full claim of damages in the form in which . .
Approved – Lloyd v Stanbury 1971
A purchaser who had been let into possession before completion and had spent money on improvements to the property was not entitled to claim for such expenses because they would not usually have been within the contemplation of the parties. As to . .
Cited – Anglo Group Plc, Winther Brown and Co Ltd v Winter Brown and Co Ltd, BML (Office Computers) Ltd, Anglo Group Plc, BML (Office Computers) Ltd TCC 8-Mar-2000
Contract – Contract for provision of computer services – purchaser contract with finance company – duty of co-operation to be implied in computer contracts – practice – responsibilities of expert witnesses generally – whether computer company liable . .
Cited – Parker and Another v SJ Berwin and Co and Another QBD 17-Dec-2008
The claimants sought damages from their former solicitors. They set out to purchase a football club, expending substantial sums for the purpose, relying on the defendants’ promised provision of service in finding and arranging the funding. They said . .
Cited – Tullett Prebon Group Ltd v El-Hajjali QBD 31-Jul-2008
The defendant signed an employment contract to join the claimants as a senior broker. He changed his mind and decided to stay in his existing job. The new employers sued for breach of contract. The defendant said that the claimants had refused to . .
Cited – Bowlay Logging Limited v Domtar Limited 1978
(Canada) The parties contracted for the claimant to cut timber and the defendant to haul it. The plaintiff said that the defendant breached the contract by supplying insufficient trucks to haul the timber away, and claimed as damages his wasted . .
Cited – Omak Maritime Ltd v Mamola Challenger Shipping Co Ltd ComC 4-Aug-2010
Lost Expenses as Damages for Contract Breach
The court was asked as to the basis in law of the principle allowing a contracting party to claim, as damages for breach, expenditure which has been wasted as a result of a breach. The charterer had been in breach of the contract but the owner had . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 30 July 2021; Ref: scu.269657