Wednesday 17 July 2013

UK: Supreme Court considers value of restitutionary award

The Supreme Court gave judgment earlier today in Benedetti v Sawiris [2013] UKSC 50. A copy of the judgment is available here (pdf). To quote from the court's summary of the decision (available herepdf):
Where a restitutionary award is made on the basis of unjust enrichment, it is to be calculated as the value of the benefit received by the defendant at the expense of the claimant. Where the benefit takes the form of services, that will normally be the market value of the services performed. The market value may depend on the personal characteristics of the defendant, such as his buying power in the relevant market. Lord Clarke (with whom Lords Kerr and Wilson agree) suggests that the sum to be awarded to a claimant can be reduced on the basis that the defendant subjectively valued the services that he received at less than the market value (subjective devaluation). Lord Reed suggests that that is not permissible, and Lord Neuberger prefers not to express a concluded view on the issue. That difference of opinion is likely to be significant in very few cases, and it is unnecessary to resolve the debate for the purposes of this case. It is not, however, possible (save perhaps in exceptional circumstances) to increase the amount awarded to a claimant on the basis that he valued the services at more than the market price (subjective revaluation)."

A recording of Lord Clarke, delivering the court's decision, is available below:

No comments: