Transcript of this slide

CONTRACT LECTURES TRANSCRIPTS Total time = 46 mins 01 secs
Track/Slide 6 05.14 mins
If we look back to the definition of consideration from Lush J in Currie v Misa and at the case
of Alliance Bank v Broom, we see that ‘forbearance’ can amount to consideration. What is
Generally, consideration usually has to be something of economic value – however small ,
such as £1 a week rent or chocolate wrappers that were deemed to have economic value by
the courts.
Intangible things like love and affection, morals and so forth, do not normally amount
to consideration.
Thus, in White v Bluett 1853 there was no consideration for a promise by a father not to sue
for money owed to him by his son, if the son would stop complaining to him about how he
would distribute his money. This could be because the son had no ‘right’ to complain about
how the father distributed his money (that was the father’s right) and so the son had not given
up any legal right.
However, an interesting case where non-monetary consideration was found to be ‘sufficient’
is Pitt v PHH Asset Management Ltd 1994.
Here the claimants had put in an offer for a property of £200.000 which was accepted
subject to contract. Miss Buckle then put in a bid of £210,000 and so the claimant’s offer was
rejected. The claimant made an agreement with the vendors that the property would be sold
to the claimant for £200,000 because the claimant promised to complete within 2 weeks of
exchange of contracts.
The vendors sold the property to Miss Buckle for £210,000.
The claimant thus sued the vendors for breach of contract claiming damages. The Court of
Appeal held that the claimant could succeed because there was ‘sufficient’ consideration.
The finding of this in the promise to complete within 2 weeks of exchange of contract seems
plausible as it would definitely be a benefit to the vendors and possibly a detriment to the
However, the finding of sufficiency in the fact that the vendors were freed of the ‘nuisance’
of the claimants getting an injunction to stop the sale to Miss Buckle and the ‘nuisance’ of the
claimant generally being troublesome is tenuous and hard to reconcile with White v Bluett
where stopping the nuisance son’s winging was not seen as consideration. I suppose the
claimant here did have a legal right to get an injunction though.
The USA case of Hamer v Sidway 1891 is another interesting case in this area. Here the
promise of an uncle to pay his nephew £5000 if he stopped drinking liquor, smoking,
swearing and gambling until he was aged 21 was enforceable because the nephew had a legal
right to indulge in such pastimes and so was giving up a legal right and this was regarded as
sufficient consideration. Contrast this with the case of White v Bluett where the son had no
legal right to winge about how his father distributed his property.
In order for forbearance to succeed as consideration, there must be some existing right
or liability owed that can be forsaken for a time, even a short time.