Morris-Garner and Another v One Step (Support) Ltd: CA 22 Mar 2016

Alleged breach of non-solicitation covenants in the sale of a business providing ‘supported living’ services for children leaving care and vulnerable adults.
Held: The defendant’s appeal was dismissed.
The test was whether an award of damages on the Wrotham Park basis was the just response in the particular case. That was a matter for the judge to decide on a broad brush basis. He was entitled to take into account the difficulties which the claimant would have in establishing damages on the ordinary basis. There would be very real problems in showing what placements the claimant lost because of the appearance of Positive Living on the scene, and in addition any loss of goodwill was inherently difficult to measure.
Christopher Clarke LJ observed that the amount taken as the reasonable sum for the relaxation of restrictive covenants might represent more, perhaps far more, than the loss realistically to be regarded as, in the event, suffered by their breach. So a Wrotham Park award could bear no relationship to the practical effect of any competition from Positive Living. Further, the assessment of a reasonable price might involve consideration of several imponderables, such as the likely effect of future competition, which would also arise in any assessment of general damages. Nevertheless, Christopher Clarke LJ did not regard these considerations as justifying a denial of Wrotham Park damages.
Longmore, Christopher Clark, King LJJ
[2016] EWCA Civ 180, [2016] WLR(D) 161, [2017] QB 1
Bailii, WLRD
England and Wales
Appeal fromOne Step (Support) Ltd v Morris-Garner and Another QBD 7-Jul-2014
The defendant had sold her interest in the claimant company, undertaking not to compete. The claimant now sought damages alleging a breach.
Held: The defendants had acted in breach of contract by breaching the non-compete covenants (although . .
CitedWrotham Park Estate Ltd v Parkside Homes Ltd ChD 1974
55 houses had been built by the defendant, knowingly in breach of a restrictive covenant, imposed for the benefit of an estate, and in the face of objections by the claimant.
Held: The restrictive covenant not to develop other than in . .

Cited by:
Appeal from (CA)Morris-Garner and Another v One Step (Support) Ltd SC 18-Apr-2018
The Court was asked in what circumstances can damages for breach of contract be assessed by reference to the sum that the claimant could hypothetically have received in return for releasing the defendant from the obligation which he failed to . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 02 April 2021; Ref: scu.561215