Ross T Smyth and Co Ltd v Bailey Son and Co: HL 1940

The court looked to what had to be shown for one party to a contract to take the actions of the other as a repudiation.
Lord Wright said that: ‘repudiation of a contract is a serious matter, not to be lightly found or inferred’ and ‘I do not say that it is necessary to show that the party alleged to have repudiated should have an actual intention not to fulfil the contract. He may intend in fact to fulfil it, but may be determined to do so only in a manner substantially inconsistent with his obligations, and not in any other way.’ and ‘A mere honest misapprehension, especially if open to correction, will not justify a charge of repudiation.’


Lord Wright


(1940) 56 TLR 825, [1940] 3 All ER 60


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedShyam Jewellers Limited v M Cheeseman CA 29-Nov-2001
The parties contracted for building work to the claimant’s shop. The shop-keeper had been regularly late in making stage payments. Eventually the contractor repudiated the contract part way through. The judge proposed a decision on a preliminary . .
ApprovedFederal Commerce Ltd v Molena Alpha Inc; (The ‘Nanfri’) CA 1978
The court considered whether claim as against a shipowner could be set off against sums due under a time charter hire.
Held: Save for any contractual provision to the contrary a tenant is entitled to deduct from the rent payable, so as to . .
CitedFuture Publishing Ltd v The Edge Interactive Media Inc and Others ChD 13-Jun-2011
The claimant said that the defendant had infriged its rights by the use of its logo on their publications. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.183002