Nahum v Royal Holloway and Bedford New College: CA 12 Nov 1998

An estate agent was entitled to his commission when he could show that it was he who had brought about the relationship of buyer and seller. Delay and actions of others intended to hide that causation did not defeat the claim. The defendant asked the plaintiff to look for buyers for three paintings, being paid 2.5% commission. A buyer was introduced who bought the first one, then, after come considerable delay a second. The defendant disputed that commission was payable on the second painting.
Held: The idea of ‘introduction’ included a causative element, and whether the agent had to be an effective cause or the effective cause mattered only when two agents sought commission. The agent had continued to work with the buyer’s own agent to press for the sale. He had earned his commission. It was unnecessary to consider further whether there were other events, such as the vendor’s own efforts, which could be described as a cause of the transaction between the vendor and the purchaser introduced by the agent.
Waller LJ
Times 19-Nov-1998, [1998] EWCA Civ 1760, [1999] EMLR 252
England and Wales
CitedAllan v Leo Lines Ltd 1957
The court, considering whether an estate agent was entitled to his commission, emphasised the importance of the mere introduction of a buyer. In this case first the plaintiff was ‘the effective cause of the introduction’; and that that was ‘a very . .
CitedWood (John D) and Co v Dantata; Beauchamp Estates v Dantata CA 1987
The purchaser liked inspecting houses and the vendor had appointed ten firms to act for him as estate agents. Each of the estate agents was approached by this purchaser and each of the estate agents took the would be purchaser over the property of . .

Cited by:
CitedBurney v The London Mews Company Ltd CA 7-May-2003
The defendant sought to appeal judgment against him for his estate agent’s commission. They had been appointed sole agents. A second firm obtained the particulars for their own retained clients, but then copied the particulars onto their own . .
CitedBecerra v Close Brothers ComC 25-Jun-1999
ComC Claim for fee for introducing successful bidder at a controlled auction – no express contract – no implied contract based on City practice – claim for quantum meruit failed because no express or implied . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 12 May 2021; Ref: scu.145239