Lauritzencool AB v Lady Navigation Inc [2005]

Lauritzencool AB v Lady Navigation Inc [2005] EWCA Civ 579 examined the question of whether injunctive relief could be granted in service contracts, specifically when the practical effect would be to compel performance.

The central issue arose from disputes between Lauritzencool AB and Lady Navigation Inc concerning two vessels chartered under a time charter to operate as part of a shipping pool. Lady Navigation sought to withdraw its ships from the pool, leading Lauritzencool to seek an injunction against this withdrawal pending arbitration proceedings.

The Court of Appeal denied the injunction. Mance LJ, delivering the judgment, clarified several key points. Firstly, there is no general prohibition on granting injunctive relief in service contracts if the practical outcome would be to compel performance. The court emphasised flexibility in the application of injunctive relief, even in contracts for services considered personal in nature.

The court distinguished the present case from Warren v Mendy [1989], noting that the latter was concerned with a specific subset of personal services contracts involving special skills or talents. In Lauritzencool, the nature of the contract was characterised as commercial, and the court found no inflexible principle precluding negative injunctive relief.

Addressing the commercial nature of the contract, Mance LJ emphasised that the involvement of mutual trust and confidence in time charters did not pose a legal objection to granting an injunction. Additionally, the court asserted that the only realistic commercial course for Lady Navigation would be to provide the vessels to the pool and perform the charter.

In summary, Lauritzencool AB v Lady Navigation Inc suggests that the principles outlined in Warren v Mendy are limited to a specific subset of personal services contracts requiring special skills or talents. The case highlights the court's consideration of the commercial nature of contracts and indicates that commercial interests alone may not be sufficient justification for not performing a contract. Some personal or emotional interest is suggested as necessary for the prohibition on injunctive relief to apply.
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 
INSEAD
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

    Terminology

    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

    Exam-focused

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