The Aberrant Tort of Lawful Means Conspiracy
31(1) King's Law Journal, 2020
24 Pages Posted: 14 May 2020
Date Written: March 17, 2020
The lawful means conspiracy tort provides an actionable claim where two (or more) parties combine to engage in a lawful activity, but do so with the predominant purpose of harming the claimant, and in fact do so harm. It is a strange tort, in that it renders unlawful because of a combination that which would otherwise be lawful. For this reason, many prominent judges regard the existence of the tort as aberrant. Rather than simply trying to box off the tort in such a manner, others argue that the tort could be built upon to protect interests not currently protected in the law of torts, such as protecting against the intentional infliction of harm.3 This article disagrees with both propositions. The central thesis of the article is that the tort can be rationalized on the grounds of economic power. Given that competition law now governs such issues, it follows that lawful means conspiracy is no longer required as an independent, actionable tort as it is superseded by statute.
Keywords: Tort, Conspiracy, Competition Law
JEL Classification: K13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation