Golden Strait Corporation v Nippon Yusen Kubishika Kaisha [2007]

Golden Strait Corporation v Nippon Yusen Kubishika Kaisha [2007] UKHL 12, commonly known as The Golden Victory, is a notable English contract law and commercial law case that addresses the assessment of damages for breach of contract.

Golden Strait Corp chartered a ship to Nippon Yusen Kubishika Kaisha, with the earliest termination date being 6 December 2005, except in the event of war between specified countries. Despite the war clause, Nippon repudiated the charter on 14 December 2001, citing the outbreak of the Iraq War as the reason. Golden accepted the repudiation three days later and sought damages. The arbitrator, Mr Robert Gaisford, determined that damages would be limited due to the war, with Nippon being liable for no damages after 21 March 2003.

Golden appealed, arguing that damages should be measured at the date of the breach, emphasising finality and certainty in contractual negotiations. The House of Lords, with a majority, upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal. The majority considered that the outbreak of war, occurring before the assessment of damages, could be taken into account for an accurate assessment based on the loss actually incurred.

Lord Bingham dissented, advocating for damages to be assessed on the date of the breach to ensure certainty and predictability in English contract law and commercial law. He emphasised that allowing the consideration of subsequent events could harm these foundational principles.

The majority rejected the argument that allowing damages based on subsequent events would lead to overcompensation, asserting that contracts are made to be performed. The dissenting opinion, however, stressed the importance of certainty and predictability in commercial transactions, expressing concern about potential negative implications for English contract law and commercial law.

The decision sparked controversy and discussion, with critics viewing it as detrimental to the certainty that is a significant advantage of English contract law and commercial law. Concerns were raised about potential delays in settlements and prolonged litigation encouraged by the decision. Despite the controversy, some argued that the decision reinforced the risk allocation function of contracts and provided an incentive for parties to communicate their intention to breach early, creating a more efficient outcome from a game theory perspective.

The Golden Victory principle was later upheld by the United Kingdom Supreme Court in Bunge SA v Nidera BV [2015], applying it not only to instalment contracts but also to one-off contracts.
Back to blog

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law


    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory


    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.