Litigation Recent Decisions 13/12/94

Office Fair Trading: appeal

Employer's vicarious liability for employee's conduct

In Re Supply of Ready Mixed Concrete (No.2): sub nom: Director General of Fair Trading v Pioneer Concrete (UK) (1994) (HL 24/11/94) (Lords Jauncey, Templeman, Mustill, Slynn and Nolan)

Summary: Employer is still liable for contempt by employee who acts notwithstanding a clear prohibition against such conduct having been given by the employer.

Appeal by the Director of Fair Trading from a decision (CA 25 June 1993) where Court of Appeal had allowed the appeal of the respondent company against penalties imposed for contempt of court committed by breach of court orders made in pursuance of s.35 Restrictive Practices Act 1976 by its employees without its knowledge and contrary to instructions which it had given them.