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Constructing a Doctrine of Economic Duress

Construction Law Journal, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 87-96, 2002

7 Pages Posted: 4 May 2005  

Daniel S. Tan

Dan Tan Law


Construction cases have played a pivotal role developing the doctrine of economic duress. In the seminal case of Williams v. Roffrey Brothers, the Court of Appeal, by taking an expansive view of the doctrine of consideration, established economic duress as the device for policing renegotiation of contracts. Recently, the cases of DSND Subsea v. Petroleum Geo-Services and Carillion Construction Limited v. Felix (U.K.) Limited in the Technology and Construction Court have resulted in further development.

This article argues that the doctrine emerging from the cases may be difficult to reconcile with established contractual principles. A more predictable approach, drawing on established legal principles, is then proposed.

Keywords: contract, duress, economic duress, construction, vitiating factors, restitution, pressure, causation, economic

Suggested Citation

Tan, Daniel S., Constructing a Doctrine of Economic Duress. Construction Law Journal, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 87-96, 2002. Available at SSRN:

Daniel Tan (Contact Author)

Dan Tan Law ( email )

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