Greig v Insole: 1978

The court was asked whether the Test and County Cricket Board had, by passing certain resolutions, induced cricketers with contracts with World Series Cricket Pty Ltd, the plaintiff, to break those contracts. The TCCB had acted in good faith and under a mistake as to the legal position. They believed that their resolutions would only induce cricketers who could lawfully terminate their contracts to do so.
Held: People are presumed to intend the reasonable consequences of their actions. Good faith as such is no defence if knowledge and intention are proved. The court applied an objective test to ascertain whether there was an intention to induce the cricketers to break their contracts and held that mistake and error as to the legal position were irrelevant. It identified 5 conditions to be established for the tort of wrongful interference with contractual relations, namely: ‘(1) either (a) direct interference or (b) indirect interference (if coupled with unlawful means); (2) knowledge of the contract; (3) intention to interfere with it; (4) damage which is more than nominal; (5) so far as necessary, the rebuttal of any defence based on justification for the interference.’


Slade J


[1978] 1 WLR 302, [1978] 3 All ER 449


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedOBG Ltd OBG (Plant and Transport Hire) Ltd v Raymond International Ltd; OBG Ltd v Allen CA 9-Feb-2005
The defendants had wrongfully appointed receivers of the claimant, who then came into the business and terminated contracts undertaken by the business. The claimant asserted that their actions amounted to a wrongful interference in their contracts . .
ApprovedTimeplan Education Group Limited v National Union of Teachers and Dunn CA 23-Jan-1997
Damages were claimed for an alleged unlawful interference with contractual relations.
Held: Ignorance of the terms of the contract did not suffice to show absence of intent to interfere with contractual relations. . .
CitedMainstream Properties Ltd v Young and others CA 13-Jul-2005
The claimant appealed refusal of his claim for inducing a breach of contract against the sixth defendant. It said that an intention to disturb a contract could be inferred.
Held: A mere recklessness as to whether contractual rights were . .
CitedProform Sports Management Ltd v Proactive Sports Management Ltd and Another ChD 26-Jul-2006
The claimant entered into a contract with Wayne Rooney, then a child footballer to represent him. Mr Rooney entered into another contract with the defendant, and the claimant sought damages alleging unlawful interference or the procuring of a breach . .
CitedDouglas and others v Hello! Ltd and others; similar HL 2-May-2007
In Douglas, the claimants said that the defendants had interfered with their contract to provide exclusive photographs of their wedding to a competing magazine, by arranging for a third party to infiltrate and take and sell unauthorised photographs. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Contract

Updated: 22 November 2022; Ref: scu.222993