Hochster v De La Tour

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Hochster v De La Tour
Europe1815 1905.jpg
Court Queen's Bench
Decided 25 June 1853
Citation(s) (1853) 2 E&B 678, [1843-1860] All ER Rep 12, [1853] EWHC QB J72
Transcript(s) Full transcript
Case opinions
Lord Campbell CJ

Hochster v De La Tour (1853) 2 E&B 678 is a landmark English contract law case on anticipatory breach of contract. It held that if a contract is repudiated before the date of performance, damages may be claimed immediately.


In April, De La Tour agreed to employ Hochster as his courier for three months from 1 June 1852, to go on a trip around the European continent. On 11 May, De La Tour wrote to say that Hochster was no longer needed. On 22 May, Hochster sued. De La Tour argued that Hochster was still under an obligation to stay ready and willing to perform till the day when performance was due, and therefore could commence no action before.


Lord Campbell CJ held that Hochster did not need to wait until the date performance was due to commence the action and awarded damages.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 8 Q. B. 358
  2. ^ 6 B. & C. 325
  3. ^ 10 East, 359
  4. ^ 6 Cornm. B. 160, Affirmed in Dom. Proc.; Emmens v Elderton, 4 I. L. Ca.
  5. ^ 8 Bing. 14