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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H00M02S

Ben took over his Aunt Jessica's business and promised to pay her a weekly allowance of £250 and promised her that he would also pay her husband, John, a weekly allowance of £175. After his aunt died, Ben paid one instalment to John and then refused to pay any further. 


Is John entitled to enforce payment of the allowance which Ben agreed to pay to him under the common law doctrine of privity of contract?

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The general rule under the common law doctrine of privity of contract is that a person who is not a party to a contract cannot enforce it or be bound by its terms. In Beswick v Beswick [1968] AC 58, it was held that the widow could not enforce her husband's promise to pay her nephew, as she was not a party to the contract. John, therefore, cannot enforce Ben's promise under the common law doctrine of privity because he was not a party to the agreement between Ben and Jessica, nor did he provide any consideration.


Key Point: The doctrine of privity in English contract law restricts enforcement of contractual terms to those who are parties to the contract. This principle ensures that only those directly involved in the contractual agreement, and who have provided consideration, can seek to enforce its terms, thereby maintaining contractual integrity.

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