Coral Leisure Group Ltd v Barnett: EAT 1981

The court was asked whether any taint of illegality affecting part of a contract necessarily rendered the whole contract unenforceable by a party who knew of the illegality. In the case of a contract not for an illegal purpose or prohibited by statute.
Held: It did not. The fact that the employee in the course of his employment committed an unlawful act did not prevent him from asserting thereafter his contract of employment against his employer. ‘The fact that a party has in the course of performing a contract committed an unlawful or immoral act will not by itself prevent him from further enforcing that contract unless the contract as entered into with the purpose of doing that unlawful or immoral act or the contract itself (as opposed to the mode of his performance) is prohibited by law.’


Browne-Wilkinson J


[1981] ICR 503


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedHall v Woolston Hall Leisure Limited CA 23-May-2000
The fact that an employment contract was tainted with illegality of which the employee was aware, did not deprive the employee of the possibility of claiming rights which were due to her under a statute which created rights associated with but not . .
CitedColen and Another v Cebrian (UK) Limited CA 20-Nov-2003
The company paid the claimant sales commission. Part was diverted and paid to his wife to reduce the tax payable. The employer had appealed a finding of unfair disamissal, the company arguing that the contract was illegal.
Held: The contract . .
CitedAXA General Insurance Limited v Gottlieb CA 11-Feb-2005
The defendant made a claim under an insurance policy. The insurer made an interim payment, but then asserted that the claim was fraudulent, and sought recovery of the interim payment.
Held: At common law, fraud in an insurance claim, once . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contract, Employment

Updated: 12 May 2022; Ref: scu.189940