inducing breach of contract

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The tort of intentionally persuading or inducing someone to break a contract made by him with a third party. Specific intention to cause breach is required; negligent interference with the claimant's contractual rights will not suffice (Mainstream Properties Ltd v Young; OBG Ltd v Allan [2007] UKHL 21, [2007] 2 WLR 920). It is actionable by the party who suffers loss from the breach. Thus a theatre manager may sue the person who induces a singer to break her contract to perform at his theatre (Lumley v Gye (1853) 2 E&B 216). The Trade Union & Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 provides a number of defences and in some instances a defence of justification is available. Interference with contractual relations, which falls short of actual breach, is no longer actionable under this tort. See causing loss by unlawful means.

Subjects: Law.

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