John Hudson v Oaten: CA 19 Jun 1980

The plaintiff sought to avoid the 1828 Act (Lord Tenterden’s Act). Lakeview, had agreed to buy a substantial quantity of oil from them but was never in a position to do so. The plaintiffs sought their loss from the defendant, Mr. Oaten, and not Lakeview.
Held: The mere fact of entering into a contract imports an implied representation of a genuine intention to pay the contract price and, secondly the entry into the contract having been procured by the defendant, he is liable for the representation thus employed. Both propositions are true. The second proposition, while it may be an adequate description of the consequences of procurement, contains in itself no analysis of the grounds upon which the assumed liability rests. Apart from the tort of conspiracy–and there is no question of that in this case–there is no separate tort of procuring as such. A man who procures the commission by another person of a tortious act becomes liable because he then becomes a principal in the commission of the act. It is his tort but once one gets to that it seems to me that the fallacy of Mr. Crawford’s argument becomes apparent. The tort alleged here is the implied false representation of Lakeview’s intention to pay, and when one seeks to fasten that onto the defendant as a principal it is at once clear that it is not, so far as he is concerned, a representation as to his own intention, for he made none. The representation for which he is assumed to be liable is the representation of Lakeview’s intention.
Oliver LJ: ‘Every promisor impliedly represents that he has at the moment of making the promise the intention of fulfilling the obligations that he has undertaken and if it can be shown that no such intention existed in his mind, at that moment he is guilty of a misrepresentation.’


Oliver LJ


Unreported, 19 June 1980


Statute of Frauds (Amendment) Act 1828 6


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedGenerale Bank Nederland Nv (Formerly Credit Lyonnais Bank Nederland Nv) v Export Credits Guarantee Department HL 19-Feb-1999
The wrong of the servant or agent for which the master or principal is liable is one committed in the case of a servant in the course of his employment, and in the case of an agent in the course of his authority. It is fundamental to the whole . .
CitedContex Drouzhba Ltd v Wiseman and Another CA 20-Nov-2007
The defendant was a director of a company. He signed a letter for the company promising to pay for goods ordered. The representation was found to have been made fraudulently because he knew the company was insolvent, and unable to pay. He now . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contract, Vicarious Liability, Torts – Other

Updated: 17 July 2022; Ref: scu.183577