Consideration in English Law - Privity


See also: Privity in English law

A promise is enforceable if it is supported by consideration, that is, where consideration has moved from the promisee. For example, in the case of Tweddle v Atkinson, John Tweddle promised William Guy that he would pay a sum of money to the child of William Guy, and likewise William Guy promised John Tweddle that he would pay a sum of money to the child of John Tweddle, upon the marriage of the two children to each other. However, William Guy failed to pay the son of John Tweddle, who then sued his executors for the amount promised. It was held that the son could not enforce the promise made to his father, as he himself had not actually given consideration for it - it was his father who had done so instead. The son didn't receive any consideration, so he cannot enforce the promise. This particular rule of consideration forms the basis of the doctrine of privity of a contract, that is, only a party to a contract is permitted to sue upon that contract's terms. (Note that the doctrine of privity has been somewhat altered by the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.) Therefore consideration from the promisee was indulgent of the claim. Although consideration must move from the promisee, it does not necessarily have to move to the promisor. The promisee may provide consideration to a third party, if this is agreed at the time the parties contracted (see Bolton v Madden).

The offeree must provide consideration, although the consideration does not have to flow to the offeror. For example, it is good consideration for person A to pay person C in return for services rendered by person B. If there are joint promisees, then consideration need only to move from one of the promisees. (see Price v Easton)

Read more about this topic:  Consideration In English Law

Other articles related to "privity":

English Contract Law - Formation - Privity
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