The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
As set out in The economic torts—overview, the law makes provision to protect a person’s trade or business from acts which are considered to be unacceptable.
For guidance on claims for:
unlawful interference, see Practice Note: Economic tort of unlawful interference
procuring a breach of contract, see Practice Note: The tort of procuring a breach of contract
Civil claims involving fraud and dishonesty often rely on pleading one or more of the economic torts, on which see Practice Note: Civil fraud—causes of action (heads of claim).
The (so called ‘economic’) tort of conspiracy falls into two categories:
lawful means conspiracy (sometimes also known as conspiracy to injure)
unlawful means conspiracy
Lawful means conspiracy exists where:
a person acts together with others, and
there is a real and predominant purpose to injure another in their trade or person, or their other legitimate interests (Crofter Hand Woven Harris Tweed Co Ltd v Veitch)
There is no requirement for a use of unlawful means. The agreement to act in concert itself creates the unlawfulness.
Unlawful means conspiracy is similar to lawful means conspiracy, except that the defendants agree to use unlawful means to bring about the conspiracy. Where unlawful means are used, there is no need for an intention to damage to be the predominant purpose of the action—a mere intention to
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