Howard v Odhams Press: CA 1935

The plaintiff claimed damages arising out of disclosure to his union of fraudulent activities in the defendant’s competition department of which he had been a member, such disclosure being contrary to an agreement between the claimant and his employers. Held; The contract sued upon was invalid as being against public policy since as it purported to prevent the defendants from giving information to third parties which might assist them to secure the conviction of persons who had defrauded them in the past or to prevent commission of frauds against them in the future.
Slesser LJ said: ‘It may be said that the particular facts on which this agreement is said to be illegal are not those precisely of stifling a prosecution or compounding a crime; but the agreement would in my opinion have the necessary effect of restricting the opportunity which the defendants and others might otherwise possess to assist the authorities in the investigation of, and, if necessary, in the prosecution of the alleged crimes.’ He approved Lound and added ‘and a fortiori if they are criminal’.


Slesser LJ


[1935] 1 KB 1


CitedLound v Grimwade ChD 1886
The plaintiff tried to set aside a bond, saying that he had executed it under duress in the form of the threat of criminal proceedings.
Held: The bond had not been executed under pressure at law. However the consideration for it included a . .

Cited by:

CitedAustralia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd v Compagnie Noga D’Importation Et D’Exportation Sa and Another ComC 21-Feb-2007
Non-payment of bills of exchange – construction of settlement agreement. It was said that the compromise agreement ws unenforceable as being against public policy in restraining one party.
Held: The restraint ‘does not affect the course of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.270281