Property and Markets
- Royal Bank of Scotland v Etridge (No 2) 
- Porter v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis 
- Baird Textile Holdings v Marks & Spencer 
Royal Bank of Scotland v Etridge (No 2) 
Rosemary Auchmuty, University of Reading (judgment)
Alison Diduck, University College London (commentary)
This is the current House of Lords authority on undue influence in mortgages. It followed only eight years after Barclays Bank v O'Brien which, though seen at the time as offering protection to married women, signally failed to do so as lenders resisted the safeguards imposed by the court, and courts refused to penalise them. Etridge enforced more robust procedures and was generally welcomed as a good case for women. In fact, however, in several of the appeals heard in this case, the women lost, and it is clear that the case is not about protecting women but protecting lenders.
Porter v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis 
Porter v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis EWCA Civ 1055 (20 October 1999)
Anna Grear, University of West of England (judgment)
Maureen O'Sullivan, NUI Galway (commentary)
Ms Porter was ejected by the police from a London Electricity Board showroom after going there to complain about the failure of LEB to connect the electricity to her new flat. She was dissatisfied with their response, and said she would stay in the shop until the matter was satisfactorily resolved. The LEB eventually requested police intervention, and Ms Porter was charged with a breach of the peace when she resisted removal. Her appeal was lost on the basis that she had become a trespasser and the police had acted lawfully. Arguably, however, a more inclusive notion of social relations would support Ms Porter's argument that owners of quasi-public space should not have an unfettered right to exclude members of the public from that space.
Baird Textile Holdings v Marks & Spencer 
Baird Textile Holdings Ltd v Marks & Spencer Plc  EWCA Civ 274 (28 February 2001)
John Wightman, University of Kent (commentary)
Baird Textile Holdings had supplied clothing to Marks & Spencer for 30 years until M&S terminated the arrangement without warning. Baird argued that there had been an implied contract requiring M&S to give reasonable notice of termination. The Court of Appeal held, however, that the alleged obligation on the part of M&S to acquire clothing from Baird was insufficiently certain to found either a contractual obligation or a claim based on estoppel. The judgment provides one of the best contemporary examples of the way in which the ideology of the neo-classical contract model, with its emphasis on self-interested economic exchange and separation, continues to underpin understandings of contractual relationships. The co-operative nature of the long term relationship between the parties was largely marginalised in the court's judgments.