Quantum meruit (value of services) and quantum valebat (value of goods)
Quantum meruit (value of services) and quantum valebat (value of goods)

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Quantum meruit (value of services) and quantum valebat (value of goods)
  • When is quantum meruit and quantum valebat relevant?
  • General principles—quantum meruit and quantum valebat claims
  • Types of quantum meruit case
  • Unsuccessful cases
  • Unjust enrichment and ‘free acceptance’
  • Work done prior to formation of contract
  • Assessing the value of the benefit conferred
  • Who receives benefit of the services
  • Quantum meruit claims—limitation

When is quantum meruit and quantum valebat relevant?

Claims in quantum meruit (value of services) and quantum valebat (value of goods) arise in diverse situations ranging from where contractual terms are silent on issues of payment to where there is no contract at all (Serck v Drake & Scull).

General principles—quantum meruit and quantum valebat claims

Claims in quantum meruit and quantum valebat are generally considered to be a category of claims in unjust enrichment (although courts sometimes see such claims as falling within their own distinct category of restitutionary claims (Yeoman’s Row v Cobbe).

As such, the general approach to unjust enrichment claims is relevant (see Practice Note: Restitution for unjust enrichment—elements of the claim). For example, in AMP v Force India Formula One Team, the claimant failed to establish the existence of a contract and therefore the court considered its alternative quantum meruit claim. This was pursued on the basis that Force India had been unjustly enriched by failing to pay any sums to AMP either for the actual introduction of a potential sponsor, or for the work undertaken and brokerage services provided which led to the conclusion of the sponsorship contract in question. The judge observed:

‘108.     The legal principles were largely common ground: Benedetti v Sawiris:

“It is now well-established that a court must first ask itself four questions when faced with a claim for unjust enrichment as

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