The appellant had overstayed the permitted period of free parking in a retail park by nearly an hour. The parking was managed by the respondent who had imposed a charge of 85.00 pounds. The judge had found that the appellant was in breach of a contract entered into when parking. The charge had been a penalty, but one which was commercially justifiable in the light of the 2012 Act.
The court noted the development of ‘a tendency to recognise that a simple dichotomy between liquidated damages and penalty is inadequate, because it fails to take into account the fact that some clauses which require payment on breach of a sum which cannot be justified as liquidated damages in accordance with established principles should nonetheless be enforceable because they are not extravagant and unconscionable and are justifiable in other terms.’
Held: The appeal failed. The court approved the judges interpretation.
Moore-Bick LJ said ‘The application in a case of this kind of a rule based on a simple comparison between the amount of the payment and the direct loss suffered by the innocent party is inappropriate. In order to achieve a just outcome it is necessary in my view to return to the principles which underlie what is ultimately no more than a rule grounded in public policy, namely, that the court will not enforce an agreement for the payment in the event of breach of an amount which is extravagant and unconscionable, despite the importance which it would normally attach to enforcing contracts freely entered into’
Nor did the company breah the requirements of the 1999 Regulations.
Moore-Bick LJ VP, Patten LJ, Sir Timothy Lloyd
 EWCA Civ 402,  WLR(D) 190
Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 56
England and Wales
Cited – Astley v Frances Weldon CCP 27-Jan-1801
Clause was a Penalty – Not Estimate of Loss
By articles of agreement between the Plaintiff arid Defendant it was agreed on the part of the former that he should pay the latter so much per week to perform at his theatres, with her travelling expences of removing from one theatre to another . .
Cited – Kemble v Farren 6-Jul-1829
Liquidated Damages Clause to Specify Which Loss
The manager of Covent Garden sought damages from an actor (a principal comedian) in the form of liquidated damages for breach of a contract. He had contracted to perform for four seasons, but had refused to continue after the first.
Held: . .
Cited – Clydebank Engineering Co v Castaneda HL 19-Nov-1904
The House considered a contract for the construction by a Scottish shipbuilder of four torpedo boats for the Spanish government. The contract provided that: ‘The penalty for late delivery shall be at the rate of andpound;500 per week for each . .
Cited – Cavendish Square Holdings Bv and Another v El Makdessi ComC 14-Dec-2012
The parties disputed whether clauses in a share sale agreement between them amounted to a penalty and as such were rendered unenforeable.
Held: Burton J felt able to escape those constraints, and concluded that the two provisions were valid . .
Cited – Lordsvale Finance Plc v Bank of Zambia QBD 20-Mar-1996
The court looked at a facility agreement opened by a bank in favour of the defendant which provided that in the event of default the defendant should pay interest during the period of default at an aggregate rate equal to the cost to the bank of . .
Cited – Cine Bes Filmcilik Ve Yapimcilik and Another v United International Pictures and Others CA 21-Nov-2003
The parties entered into agreements licensing the exclusive distribution of encrypted television channels within Turkey. A clause provided a calculation of damages for a breach amounting to the balance of licence fees due, and other penalties, . .
Cited – Murray v Leisureplay Plc CA 28-Jul-2005
The court considered the extent to which the content of negotiations leading up to the signing of a contract were admissible. Arden LJ said: ‘Lord Dunedin in the Dunlop case makes the point that, although the issue is one of construction, the court . .
Cited – El Makdessi v Cavendish Square Holdings Bv and Another CA 26-Nov-2013
The appellants had agreed for the sale of his company by way of a share sale agreement. The price to be paid was to vary accoriding to the operating profits. A large part of the price reflected goodwill. The agreement contained a clause providing . .
Cited – Director General of Fair Trading v First National Bank HL 25-Oct-2001
The House was asked whether a contractual provision for interest to run after judgment as well as before in a consumer credit contract led to an unfair relationship.
Held: The term was not covered by the Act, and was not unfair under the . .
Appeal from – Cavendish Square Holding Bv v Talal El Makdessi; ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis SC 4-Nov-2015
The court reconsidered the law relating to penalty clauses in contracts. The first appeal, Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi, raised the issue in relation to two clauses in a substantial commercial contract. The second appeal, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Consumer, Contract, Road Traffic, News
Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.545936