Toulmin v Millar: HL 1887

The agent claimed a second commission when his principal, who had already paid a commission for the procuring of a tenant, was asked to pay a second commission on the purchase of the property by the tenant at a later date.
Held: Where there has been indubitably established a causal relationship between the introduction of the purchaser and the ultimate transaction of the sale, and that is sufficient to found the plaintiff’s legal claim for commission.
Lord Watson said: ‘It is impossible to affirm, in general terms, that A. is entitled to a commission if he can prove that he introduced to B. the person who afterwards purchased B.’s estate, and that his introduction became the cause of the sale. In order to found a legal claim for commission, there must not only be a causal, there must also be a contractual relation between the introduction and the ultimate transaction of sale. If A. had no employment to sell, express or implied, he could have no claim to be remunerated.’


Lord Watson


(1887) 58 LT 96


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedThe County Homesearch Company (Thames and Chilterns) Ltd v Cowham CA 31-Jan-2008
The defendants contracted to pay estate agents to find them a house. They completed the purchase of a property mentioned to them three times by the agent, but now appealed from a finding that they were obliged to pay his commission. The judge found . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 07 May 2022; Ref: scu.264095