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Hedley Byrne & Co v Heller & Partners - Doyles Arbitration Lawyers
Hedley Byrne & Co v Heller & Partners

Hedley Byrne & Co v Heller & Partners

HEDLEY BYRNE & CO LIMITED V HELLER & PARTNERS LIMITED [1964] AC 465

House of Lords – 28 May 1963

FACTS

Hedley were advertising agents who placed expensive forward advertising orders for Easipower. Hedley would be personally liable for the cost of the orders so they asked their bankers to inquire into Easipower’s financial stability. The bankers made inquiries of Heller, Easipower’s bankers.

Heller gave a favourable references but stated that the reference was ‘Without responsibility”.

In reliance on the references Hedley placed orders which resulted in a substantial financial loss. Hedley sued Heller for negligence.

ISSUES

Did Heller, who was not in a contractual or fiduciary relationship with Hedley, owe a duty of care to Hedley to not give negligent advice?

Did the statement by Heller that the reference was given “without responsibility” exclude Heller from being liable for negligence?

FINDING

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End