Tomlinson v Gill

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Tomlinson v Gill
Citation(s) (1756) Ambler 330
Case opinions
Lord Hardwicke

Tomlinson v Gill (1756) Ambler 330 is an English contract law case concerning privity of contract. It stands as an example of the flexible approach to privity under the earlier common law.

English contract law Law of contracts in England and Wales

English contract law is a body of law regulating contracts in England and Wales. With its roots in the lex mercatoria and the activism of the judiciary during the industrial revolution, it shares a heritage with countries across the Commonwealth, and to a lesser extent the United States. It is also experiencing gradual change because of the UK's membership of the European Union and international organisations like Unidroit. Any agreement that is enforceable in court is a contract. Because a contract is a voluntary obligation, in contrast to paying compensation for a tort and restitution to reverse unjust enrichment, English law places a high value on ensuring people have truly consented to the deals that bind them in court.

Privity is a doctrine in English contract law that covers the relationship between parties to a contract and other parties or agents. At its most basic level, the rule is that a contract can neither give rights to, nor impose obligations on, anyone who is not a party to the original agreement, i.e. a "third party". Historically, third parties could enforce the terms of a contract, as evidenced in Provender v Wood, but the law changed in a series of cases in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the most well known of which are Tweddle v Atkinson in 1861 and Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre v Selfridge and Co Ltd in 1915.




Lord Hardwicke decided that a third person is entitled to sue if there can be spelt out of the contract an intention by one of the parties to contract as trustee for him, even though nothing was said about any trust in the contract, and there was no trust fund to be administered.

See also


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