Lampleigh v Brathwait (1615) Hob 105

Key point

  • An act requested by the promisor with the understanding that it will be rewarded is valid consideration even if it were performed prior to the promise for reward being given


  • Brathwait (D) killed a man, asked Lampleigh (C) to obtain royal pardon for him
  • C incurred expenses in doing so
  • D promised C payment for what he had done but broke the promise
  • C sued him for breach

Held (King’s Bench)

  • C’s claim succeeded; he had given valid consideration and thus had a binding contract


  • Pao On v Lau Yiu Long confirmed that in such cases there must be 1. a request and 2. an understanding that the requested act will be remunerated