Foster v Driscoll, Lindsay v Attfield, Lindsay v Driscoll: 1929

During the American prohibition, a group in England and Scotland planned to ship 7,500 cases of whisky to North America, and hoped to make extraordinary profits. But they fell out and resorted to litigation between themselves.
Held: Sankey LJ said: ‘An English contract should and will be held invalid on account of illegality if the real object and intention of the parties necessitates them joining in an endeavour to perform in a foreign and friendly country some act which is illegal by the law of such country notwithstanding the fact that there may be, in a certain event, alternative modes or places of performing which permit the contract to be performed legally.’
The rule that where one party to a contract intends it to be performed in an unlawful way it will not be enforced at his behest, is only part of the wider principle that if both parties have that intent, neither can enforce it.


Sankey LJ


[1929] KB 287, [1928] All ER Rep 130

Cited by:

CitedRegazzoni v Sethia HL 1957
The House considered a mutual intention of both parties to perform a contract, which was not illegal on its face, but in a manner which was contrary to the law of the place where it was to be performed.
Held: Lord Reid said: ‘To my mind, the . .
CitedMahonia Limited v JP Morgan Chase Bankwest Lb Ag QBD 3-Aug-2004
The Claimant claimed on a letter of credit issued by the Defendant on behalf of Enron Ltd, who asserted it was not liable to pay there having been unlawful behaviour by Enron Ltd. Swap agreements had been entered into, and the defendant said the . .
CitedSoleimany v Soleimany CA 4-Mar-1998
The parties were Iranian Jews, father and son. The son arranged to export carpets from Iran in contravention of Iranian law. The father and son fell into dispute about their contracts and arranged for the issues to be resolved by the Beth Din . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 09 May 2022; Ref: scu.200481