Banco de Portugal v Waterlow and Sons Ltd: HL 28 Apr 1932

Lord Macmillan said: ‘Where the sufferer from a breach of contract finds himself in consequence of that breach placed in position of embarrassment the measures which he may be driven to adopt in order to extricate himself ought not to be weighed in nice scales at the instance of the party whose breach of contract has occasioned the difficulty. It is often easy after an emergency has passed to criticise the steps which have been taken to meet it, but such criticism does not come well from those who have themselves created the emergency. The law is satisfied if the party placed in a difficult position by reason of the breach of a duty owed to him has acted reasonably in the adoption of remedial measures and he will not be held disentitled to recover the cost of such measures merely because the party in breach can suggest that other measures less burdensome to him might have been taken.’


Lord Macmillan


[1932] AC 452, [1932] UKHL 1




England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedDouglas Williams and others v Glyn Owen and Co CA 11-Jun-2003
Land was sold at auction. The particulars appeared to included valuable milk quota. The vendor was unable to complete, but no completion notice was served. The judge had held that the correct measure of damages was the difference (in financial . .
CitedPt Pan Indonesia Bank Ltd Tbk v Marconi Communications International Ltd CA 27-Apr-2005
The parties disputed the jurisdiction of the English courts over a letter of credit. It foresaw payment here and in sterling, made by the English bank as against the appropriate documents. Authority had been given for service out of the . .
CitedTransfield Shipping Inc v Mercator Shipping Inc (The Achilleas) HL 9-Jul-2008
The parties contracted to charter the Achileas. The charterer gave notice to terminate the hire, and the owner found a new charterer. Until the termination the charterers sub-chartered. That charter was not completed, delaying the ship for the . .
CitedCheltenham Borough Council v Laird QBD 15-Jun-2009
The council sought damages saying that their former chief executive had not disclosed her history of depressive illness when applying for her job.
Held: The replies were not dishonest as the form could have been misconstrued. The claim failed. . .
CitedJoyce v Bowman Law Ltd ChD 18-Feb-2010
The claimant asserted negligence by the defendant licensed conveyancers in not warning him of the effect of an option in the contract. He had been advised that it would allow him to choose to buy additional land, but it was in fact a put option. The . .
CitedBorealis Ab v Geogas Trading Sa ComC 9-Nov-2010
The parties had contracted for sale and purchase of butane for processing. It was said to have been contaminated. The parties now disputed the effect on damages for breach including on causation, remoteness, mitigation and quantum.
Held: The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Contract

Updated: 16 June 2022; Ref: scu.183571