Lonsdale v Howard and Hallam Ltd: CA 8 Feb 2006

The claimant sought damages after his agency with the defendants was terminated. The central issue was whether compensation was to be calculated at two years commission as derived from French practice or otherwise.
Held: ‘there is no clear agreement on the principles governing the assessment of compensation under regulation 17(6) . . . the common law concept of mitigation has no part to play in the exercise, so that the court is not concerned with any steps that the agent might have taken to obtain other employment following the termination of the agency, and that a broad approach is to be adopted to the assessment of compensation.
However the basis of calculation remains unclear . . The two years’ commission rule derived from the practice of the French courts . . has been widely regarded as unsatisfactory and has rarely been applied. . [R]egulation 17(6) requires them to make an award of compensation that is just and equitable in all the circumstances, rather than an award that compensates the agent for any specific loss he has suffered.’ The Directive had not sought to impose a consistent method of calculation of compensation, but ‘the purpose of the regulation is not to provide compensation for damage caused by a breach of duty (for which a claim could be made outside the terms of the Regulations in any event), but to provide compensation for the loss of goodwill for which a claim would not otherwise arise.’ The damages did not only consist of loss of goodwill, but also loss of earnings. ‘The damage suffered by the agent as a result of the termination of his relations with his principal is normally the loss of the agency business, including whatever goodwill attaches to it.’ Any valuation should be at the date of termination.
[2006] EWCA Civ 63, Times 21-Feb-2006, [2006] 1 WLR 1281
Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993, Council Directive 86/653/EEC of 18 December 1986 on the coordination of the laws of the Member States relating to self-employed commercial agents
England and Wales
CitedKing v T Tunnock Limited IHCS 2000
The pursuer had been employed as a commercial agent by the defendant which carried on business as a baker. The pursuer sold only the defendant’s cakes and biscuits. The defendant decided to close its bakery business. The claimant sought compensation . .
CitedTigana Ltd v Decoro Ltd QBD 3-Feb-2003
The claimant sought compensation after its sales agency agreement with the defendant was terminated. He had opened up several substantial sales channels for the respondent’s products within the UK. There were difficulties in the products (leather . .
CitedIngmar GB Ltd v Eaton Leonard Inc QBD 31-Jul-2001
The applicants sought damages as commercial agents following the termination of their exclusive agency for the sale of the respondents goods in the UK. The defendants claimed the contract was governed exclusively by Californian law. The European . .
CitedPage v Combined Shipping and Trading Co Ltd CA 24-May-1996
Mr Page was taken on to trade in commodities for the defendant for a minimum period of four years. Six months later the defendant’s parent company decided to cease trading activities, and he began proceedings claiming compensation under regulation . .
CitedDuffen v Fra Bo Spa CA 30-Apr-1998
The plaintiff had been appointed as an exclusive sales agent for the defendant for a minimum period of four years. The defendants terminated it eighteen months early claiming fraudulent misrepresentation.
Held: The clause setting the damages . .
Doubted in partPJ Pipe and Valve Co. Ltd. v Audco India Ltd QBD 2-Sep-2005
The claimant was an agent in the petrochemical industry promoting and selling the defendant’s valves. There were two agency agreements, one relating solely to products to be supplied to a particular petro-chemical complex in Nanhai, the other being . .
CitedPure Fishing (UK) Ltd v Cooper Watkins and Bartle CA 29-Sep-2003
The claimant sought a compensation payment under the Regulations after its sales agency for fishing tackle was terminated. The defendant argued that compensation was payable only where the agency was terminated before its term.
Held: The . .
CitedLitster and Others v Forth Dry Dock and Engineering Co Ltd HL 16-Mar-1989
The twelve applicants had been unfairly dismissed by the transferor immediately before the transfer, and for a reason connected with the transfer under section 8(1). The question was whether the liability for unfair dismissal compensation . .
CitedLight and Others v Ty Europe Ltd CA 25-Jul-2003
The claimants sought damages under the regulations. They were self employed sales agents. At first they were sub agents but upon the ceasing to trade of the main agents they had acted directly for the principal. Those agencies had been terminated. . .
CitedFrancovich, Bonifaci and others v Italy ECJ 19-Nov-1991
LMA The claimants, a group of ex-employees sought arrears of wages on their employers’ insolvency. The European Directive required Member States to provide a guarantee fund to ensure payment of employees’ arrears . .

Cited by:
CitedKing v RCO Support Services Limited and Yorkshire Traction Company Limited CA 8-Dec-2000
The appellant was employed by the first respondents as a steam cleaning operative. The first respondent had contracted to supply cleaning services to the second respondent at one of the second respondent’s yards, where buses were cleaned. The . .
CitedClarke v Kato and Others; Cutter v Eagle Star Insurance Co Ltd HL 25-Nov-1998
Save exceptionally, a car park is not a road for the purposes of road traffic legislation on obligatory insurance. It is an unjustified strain on the language. A distinction made between the road ways and the parking bays was artificial and . .
Appeal fromLonsdale (T/A Lonsdale Agencies) v Howard and Hallam Ltd HL 4-Jul-2007
The claimant sought compensation after his commercial agency was terminated. The court had found that the agency was declining in turnover, and reduced the compensation accordingly. There had been no written agreement for the agency, and six months’ . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 19 April 2021; Ref: scu.238356