This page lists legal decisions of the House of Lords. Until 30 September 2009, the House of Lords was the highest appellate court for the United Kingdom. Cases were determined not by the House of Lords itself, but by its Judicial Committee, consisting of up to nine legally qualified peers, generally referred to as "Law Lords". On 1 October 2009 its functions were transferred to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
|Duke of Norfolk's Case
||3 Ch. Cas. 1, 22 E.R. 931
||rule against perpetuities
|Donaldson v Beckett
||1 E.R. 837
||Copyright could not be a right in perpetuity
|Steel v Houghton
||126 ER 32
||Establishes the nature of property which imports absolute enjoyment’
|Wright v Tatham
||132 E.R. 877
|Dimes v Grand Junction Canal
||3 HLC 759
||A judge with a financial interest in one of the parties to a case is debarred from deciding a case involving that party; applying the principle "Nobody should be a judge in their own cause".
|Rylands v Fletcher
||LR 3 H.L. 330
||Liability could attach in tort for escape of materials from land
|Hughes v Metropolitan Railway Co.
||2 A.C. 439
||The first example of promissory estoppel being applied, although to delay rather than extinguish common-law rights.
|Foakes v Beer
||L.R. 9 A.C. 605
||Part-payment of a debt, in the absence of consideration, will not extinguish the debt.
|Wakelin v London & South Western Railway Co.
||12 A.C. 41, 56 L.J.Q.B. 229 (H.L.)
||A defendant's negligence must be causative of, rather than incidental to, damage to the plaintiff.
|Derry v Peek
||14 A.C. 337, 58 L.J. Ch. 864, 61 L.T. 265 (H.L.)
||Fraud and negligent mistatement.
|Browne v Dunn
||6 R. 67 (H.L.)
||An advocate must raise in Cross examination issues that are in dispute otherwise reliance on those issues will be prohibited.
|Reddaway v Banham
|Salomon v A Salomon & Co Ltd
||Recognized a corporation as a separate entity.
|Walter v Lane
||A.C. 539 H.L.
||Fixation by journalist creates copyright by publisher.
|Heilbut, Symons & Co. v Buckleton
||Innocent misrepresentation in contract gives no right to damages.
|Lennard's Carrying Co Ltd v Asiatic Petroleum Co Ltd
||Alter-ego theory of corporate liability, establishing that directors are the controlling minds of the company and therefore the company is liable for their misdeeds.
|Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre v Selfridge and Co. Ltd.
||Privity in contract law
|Herd v Weardale Steel Coal & Coke Ltd.
||A.C. 67, 84 L.J.K.B. 121 (H.L.)
|Adam v Ward
||All E.R. 151
||Definition of qualified privilege
|Donoghue v Stevenson
||Lord Atkin's famous statement about duty of care in the tort of negligence.
|Bell v Lever Brothers
||Mutual mistake at common law
|Hillas v Arcos
||All E.R. 494
||The court may imply terms into a contract based on the previous business dealings of the parties.
|Woolmington v DPP
||A.C. 462 H.L.(E)
||It is always incumbent on the prosecution in a criminal case to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
|Fibrosa Spolka Akcyjna v Fairbairn Lawson Combe Barbour
||2 All E.R. 122, 1943 A.C. 32
||Frustration in contract law
|Hay v Young
|Bolton v Stone
||A.C. 850, 1 All E.R. 1078 (H.L.)
||Breach of duty of care.
|Silkin v Beaverbrook Newspapers Ltd.
||1 W.L.R. 743
||Freedom of speech.
|Cavanagh v Ulster Weaving Co. Ltd.
||A.C. 1959 2 All E.R. (H.L.)
||Evidence of trade practice is not determinative of whether there had been negligence on the facts.
|Scruttons Ltd v Midland Silicones Ltd
||2 Lloyd's Rep. 365 (H.L.)
||Privity of contract and the agency exception.
|White & Carter (Councils) Ltd. v McGregor
||All E.R. 1178
|Hughes v Lord Advocate
||All E.R. 705 (H.L.)
||Manner of occurrence in tort of negligence (remoteness).
|Hedley Byrne v Heller
||2 All E.R. 575
||Economic loss in tort. Negligent mistatement.
|Ridge v Baldwin
||Judicial review, natural justice and fair hearing.
||Change of practise regarding precedent, allowing the House of Lords to overrule its own previous decisions in exceptional circumstances.
|Suisse Atlantique case
||2 All E.R. 61
|Regal (Hastings) v Gulliver
||2 A.C. 134
||Fiduciary duties of company directors.
|Anisminic v Foreign Compensation Commission
||2 A.C. 147
||Judicial review, error of law
|Home Office v Dorset Yacht Co.
||2 All E.R. 294
||Tort, duty of care
|Saunders v Anglia Building Society
||Importance of signature.
|Tesco Supermarkets v Nattrass
||Directing mind of corporation.
|McGhee v National Coal Board
||3 All E.R. 1008 (H.L.)
||Causation in tort.
|Haughton v Smith
||1975; 1973; 1974
||AC 476; 3 All ER 1109; 3 W.L.R.
||Attempted crimes, subsequently overturned by Criminal Attempts Act 1981
|American Cyanamid Co. v Ethicon Ltd.
||A.C. 396 H.L.(E)
|Miliangos v George Frank Ltd
||UK courts were entitled to make awards of damages specified in foreign currency.
|Anns v Merton London Borough Council
||A.C. 728; 2 All E.R. (H.L.)
||Compensation of economic loss caused by negligence; overruled by Murphy v Brentwood District Council.
|Securicor Transport Ltd. v Photo Production Ltd.
||2 W.L.R. 283
|Ramsay v IRC
||1982 A.C. 300
||Disregarding artificial transactions designed solely to avoid tax.
|Catnic Components Ltd. v Hill & Smith Ltd.
|Brinkibon Ltd v Stahag Stahl und Stahlwarenhandelsgesellschaft mbH
||2 A.C. 34
||Contract law, instantaneous communication, approving Entores v Miles Far East Co.
|Amin Rasheed Shipping Corp. v Kuwait Insurance Co.
||1 App Cas 50
||Choice of law in contract, renvoi.
|Furniss v Dawson
|Spiliada Maritime Corp v Cansulex Ltd
||Forum non conveniens.
|Caparo Industries Plc. v Dickman
||Pure economic loss in tort. Duty of care.
|Attorney-General v Guardian Newspapers Ltd. (No. 2)
||1 AC 109
||Confidentiality and public interest.
|R v Brown
||2 W.L.R. 556
||Sadomasochism and consent in criminal law.
|Reynolds v Times Newspapers Ltd.
||Freedom of expression and defamation.
|White v White
|Fairchild v Glenhaven Funeral Services Ltd
||Exposure to asbestos; multiple tortfeasors.
|Campbell v MGN Ltd.
|Regina v Special Adjudicator
|Kirin-Amgen v Hoechst Marion Roussel
|A and Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department
||Imprisonment without trial for terrorism suspects
|R v Jones
||Iraq war; international law
|Barker v Corus
||Exposure to asbestos; "proportionate liability" of multiple tortfeasors
|A v Hoare
||Tort law; limitation period of personal injuries claims; Limitation Act 1980.