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Williams v Bayley

[1866] LR 1 HL 200

Case summary last updated at 04/01/2020 18:21 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Williams v Bayley

P threatened to sue D on a criminal offence if D did not pay for his son’s liabilities where the son had forged D’s signature on a recommendation note. Therefore D agreed to pay his son’s liability but later claimed that the agreement was invalid due to undue influence. HL held that this was the case and supported D. 

Lord Westbury: If a man agrees to guarantee another’s liabilities he has to do so as a “free and voluntary agent”. This is not the case where a man’s refusal to enter such a contract will lead to his son’s criminal conviction. 

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