Mogul Steamship Co Ltd v McGregor, Gow and Co: HL 18 Dec 1891

An association of shipowners agreed to use various lawful means to dissuade customers from shipping their goods by the Mogul line.
Held: The agreement was lawful in the sense that it gave the Mogul Company no right to sue them. But (majority) the agreement would have been unenforceable as between the members of the association. Lord Watson said: ‘an agreement by traders to combine for a lawful purpose, and for a specified time, is not binding upon any of the parties to it if he chooses to withdraw, and consequently cannot be enforced in invitum.’

Lord Watson
[1892] AC 25, [1891] UKLawRpAC 50
England and Wales
At First Instance (1)Mogul Steamship Company Limited v McGregor Gow and Co QBD 10-Aug-1885
Ship owners formed themselves into an association to protect their trading interests which then caused damage to rival ship owners. The plaintiffs complained about being kept out of the conference of shipowners trading between China and London.
Appeal fromMogul Steamship Company Limited v McGregor Gow and Co CA 2-Jul-1889
Ship-owners formed an association which in this action others claimed to be a tortious conspiracy.
Held: There is a cause of action against the conspirators where there is an agreement which constitutes an indictable conspiracy and that . .
At QBD (2)Mogul Steamship Company Limited v McGregor Gow and Co QBD 31-Oct-1888
The defendants, who were firms of shipowners trading between China and Europe, with a view to obtaining for themselves a monopoly of the homeward tea trade and thereby keeping up the rate of freight, formed themselves into an association, and . .

Cited by:
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. . .
CitedEsso Petroleum Co Ltd v Harper’s Garage (Stourport) Ltd HL 1968
Agreement in Restraint of Trade Unenforceable
The defendant ran two garages under solus agreements with the plaintiffs who complained when the defendants began to purchase petrol from cheaper alternative sources. The House was asked whether the solus agreements were be regarded in law as an . .
CitedNorris v United States of America and others HL 12-Mar-2008
The detainee appealed an order for extradition to the USA, saying that the offence (price-fixing) was not one known to English common law. The USA sought his extradition under the provisions of the Sherman Act.
Held: It was not, and it would . .
CitedAttorney General of the Commonwealth of Australia v Adelaide Steamship Company PC 1913
There was an agreement between a group of colliery owners and a group of shipowners which was ancillary to an agreement between the colliery owners themselves. Each agreement was in restraint of trade.
Held: Lord Parker explained the doctrine . .
CitedDigicel (St Lucia) Ltd and Others v Cable and Wireless Plc and Others ChD 15-Apr-2010
The claimants alleged breaches of legislation by members of the group of companies named as defendants giving rise to claims in conspiracy to injure by unlawful means. In effect they had been denied the opportunity to make interconnections with . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.251746