Marcus Roberts, ‘MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd: The Practical Benefit Doctrine Marches On’

Abstract:
In MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd v Rock Advertising Ltd the Court of Appeal held that when an ongoing contract is varied so that one party’s obligation to pay money is reduced, the variation is binding as long as the other party receives a practical benefit. In doing so, the Court of Appeal effectively confined the rule in Foakes v Beer to one-off payments. This raises serious questions about the continued survival of Foakes v Beer. On the other hand, the Court of Appeal ensured that Foakes v Beer would not be killed off via equity by moving away from the suggestion in Collier v P & M J Wright (Holdings) Ltd that an agreed part-payment of a debt by a debtor will always raise an estoppel preventing the creditor from demanding the remainder of the debt.

Marcus Roberts, MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd: The Practical Benefit Doctrine Marches On, Modern Law Review, volume 80, issue 2, pp 339–351, March 2017.

First posted 2017-03-04 07:28:18

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