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Thomson v Deakin

[1952] Ch 646

Case summary last updated at 17/02/2020 19:57 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Thomson v Deakin

P sacked a member of union 1. Union 1 managed to get the members of union 2, who worked for P’s suppliers, not to deliver supplies to P. As a result supplier S told P that it would be unable to fulfil its supply contract with P. P sought an injunction restraining both unions involved from procuring S to breach its contract with P (i.e. interference with contractual relations). CA refused the order, on the grounds that in order to be liable for an actionable interference with contractual relations by persuading the servants of one of the parties to the contract to break his contract of service with that party is confined to the case where it is clearly shown “first, that the person charged with actionable interference knew of the existence of the contract and intended to procure its breach; secondly, that the person so charged did definitely and unequivocally persuade, induce or procure the employees concerned to break their contracts of employment with the intent I have mentioned; thirdly, that the employees so persuaded, induced or procured did in fact break their contracts of employment; and, fourthly, that breach of the contract forming the alleged subject of interference ensued as a necessary consequence of the breaches by the employees concerned of their contracts of employment.” This was not the case here as the employees of S had only threatened to break their employment agreements (hadn’t yet since S capitulated), nor had union 1 procured the breach by union 2 (What? That’s ridiculous)- Jenkins LJ

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