Mohamed Bangura And Dalian shengai Ocean Fishing & Others (SC. CIV.APP.1/2018) [2019] SLSC 1 (29 November 2019);








  1. My Lords, for the reasons given by my noble  and  learned friends,  Roberts  JSC  and  Thompson  JSC.  I   TOO,   WOULD   ALLOW  THE  APPEAL.   I   also  agree   with  their   narration   of the facts  and  treatment  of  the  issues  in  this  appeal'  I would, however like to add my thoughts on the principles governing  the  assessment  of  damages  for  breach  of  an agency  agreement  and  inducing  a  breach  of  contract.

A) The   Agency    Agreement:     The    principle       is     that     where   an


agent    (as    in  this    case),           makes             a  contract reduced                     to                   writing,            the         question                of contracted                                                  personally,       together      with                his solely                   in                                    his    capacity     as     an  agent is             a fact.   See.                        Bowstead                   and Reynolds on Agency,

- 041,  Article  103,  PAGE.  585. ·An Appellate be         more   reluctant     to         interfere                      with                          the


which is not whether he principal or question of paragraphs 9 Tribunal may findings     of


facts   as  to  oral  contracts,     and   in    many cases an appeal only lies  on  point  of law (supra                                  paragraph 9 -  042).

  1. In the instant case, the Learned  Trial Judge  found  that there was  an  agency  relationship  between  the Appellant and  the  l't   Respondent.  This  conclusion  was  rejected  by the  Court  of  Appeal  for   reasons  I  cannot  easily  discern. As    I    have   stated   earlier,    the  findings   of   the   Trial





Judge as   to    the    existence   of  an  oral  agreement     can only be   appealed   against   on a  point         of  law which  was     not      the case in             the Court        of Appeal.            What    the     Court   of   Appeal, with                        respect,       failed            to      appreciate        was      that        the reasoning                     behind       the           doctrine       of     apparent     authority involves                    the assumption    that     there    1s    1n   fact    no authority   at  all.  This   statement   was   given   judicial   fiat in the case of RAMA CORPORATION -V- PROVED  TIN  and GENERAL   INVESTMENTS   (1952)   2   Q.B.   147   AT  149.   This

doctrine   dictates   that      where a principal represents,    or is   regarded              by          law  as       representing, that          another              has authority,         he         may      be      bound as  against                a  third      party   by acts           of         that               persons     within      the    authority    which      that person appears              to have,        though       he   had   not   in fact  given that person such authority  or  by  instructions  not  made known to the third party. This ostensible  or  apparent authority has been  defined  in  HELY  -  HUTCHIN SON -V­ BRAY  HEAD LIMITED (1968) 1 Q.B. 549 at  page 583.  These

principles   were   aptly   applied   by   Lord   Diplock    in    the  case of FREEMAN & LOCKYER -V- BUCKHURST PARK PROPERTIES (MANGAL)  LTD & ANOR (1964)  2 Q.B.  2  Q.B. 480.

  1. Thus apparent authority is not concerned with the full consequences    of   the   principal                                                                         agent     relationship rather  it is primarily concerned   with  question   whether the  principal  is  bound.
  2. Of importance to note is that. the doctrine of apparent authority is often said to be based on  estoppel which generally operates only between two parties and  their privies.
  3. In  this case,   the  first   Respondent   was   the   principal, Mr. Wang the   agent  and   the   Appellant   the  third   party. Mr. Wang as agent of the 1st   Respondent   created   an agency  relationship  between the  said  1st Respondent   and the   said  Appellant.



I am also in agreement with  the  findings  of the Learned  Trial Judge that there was a ratification of the  agency agreement by the 1st Respondent. The reasoning for the inference that  there was ratification  was   competently  dealt with by Thompson JSC in her judgment and would therefore   need   not   repeat  them here.

  1. Having agreed with   the   Learned   Trial   Judge  that   there was  an  agency  agreement between   the   Appellant   and  the 1st  Respondent created by the apparent   or   ostensible authority of Mr. Wang, I shall now consider whether  the Learned Trial Judge was right   to   order   specific performance of the said  agency  agreement. It should be  noted  that  the  Learned  Trial  Judge  also  awarded  damages.





  1. Specific     performance   is   a   specialised    remedy used   by the courts     when    no    other      remedy   (such     as     money)   will adequately    compensate   the  other  party.   If   a legal remedy will    put   the   injured     party    in   the    position     he   or   she would     have     enjoyed      had     the      contract       been     fully performed, then the court   will   use  that   option   instead. The common  reason  courts  grant specifie  performance is that the   subject   of  the   contract   is   unique,   when   it   is  not merely matter of money or where  the amount  of  the damage is unclear. Where a contract is  for  the  sale  of  a unique property, for   instance,   mere   money   damages   may not    remedy   the   purchaser's situation.
  2. An   order   for   specific   performance   is   at    the   discretion of   the  court.
  3. In  the  instant   case,   the   Learned  Trial   Judge  made

Orders   for    both   specifie      performance   and   damages.   This is   not,   with   respect,     the    correct  approach.    Damages   are







usually     ordered     in     lieu     of     specifie       performance.     The reason      for          this    is  that     damages      are      a    ''substitutional'' remedy,                        while specific          performance        is       a             'specific remedy'.                      The remedy          for    specific                performance    is    granted by    way                       of       exceptions.            The       rule    is    based    on    the uncertainty   of   calculation   of   damages,   in   cases   where they cannot  be  based  on  anything,  but  conjecture  or  surmise.  Thus,  where  A  agrees  to  buy,   and   B  agrees   to sell,  a  picture  by  a  dead   painter   and   two   rare   Chinese vases,  A  may  compel   B  specifically   to   perform   this contract,  for,  there  is  no  standard  for  ascertaining  the  actual   damage   which   would    be   caused   by   non-performance. By   claiming   damages   for   breach    of    contract,    the  plaintiff disentitles  himself,  on  account  of  his  own election, from claiming specific performance of the same contract   as   an  alternative  case.

  1. In the Sierra Leone High  Court  decision  in  CHARAF (Trading as  C.J.  CHARAF  -V-  MICHEL,  Beoku-Betts  J  (as  he then was) had this to say: "In an  action  for  specific performance,  the  court.  would   not   make   an   order   which cannot   be  carried   out''.   This   principle   has  some   support in  the  decision  of   the  Supreme   Court   of  Sierra   Leone   in AGIP  V  ABASS  ALIE   &   CIV .APP .10/73   In  the   instant   case, the  2nd  and  3rd   Respondents  were  alleged   to  have  induced  a  breach   of   the   contract   between   the   Appellant   and   the 1st Respondent. In fact there 1;1as a new  Agency  agreement between  the  1st  Respondent  and  the   2nd  and  3''d  Respondents to  the  exclusion  of  the  Appellant.  The  agreement   took  effect and  so  ordering  the  specific  performance  of  the  agency  agreement  would  lead  to   confusion.   The   contract would have involved the performance of  a  continuous  duty  which the  cou1·t  cannot  supervise.  The  difficulty of supervision    by    the    court   is    the   main   reason   why     due





performance     of      this      type     of     contract       cannot     be specifically     enforced.

  1. Having held that specific performance is not an appropriate  remedy;  can  damages  be  awarded  in lieu?
  2. Where a breach is by  the  Principal,  the  measure  of damages  will  be  the  amount  that  the  agent  might reasonably  have  earned  under  the  contract  had  he  not been prevented from continuing to act. Further and additionally, the agent can claim to be indemnified and reimbursed for outlays, expenses  and  losses  incurred  in  the performance of  his  agency.  Although  the  amount  and  the  extent  of  this  indemnity  may   be   difficult   to calculate,  it  is  not  to  be  classified  as  damages;  it  1s implied  contractual   indemnity,   an  implied  liability   on the contract - MCGREGOR ON DAMAGES, 18m  ED, PARAGRAH 36

-    663    and foot   note  3  of   page  1125.

  1. This passage is in effect providing for two related claims,   to wit:
    1. Loss  of  earnings;   and

ii.      reimbursement.

  1. It can be   concluded   from   the   foregoing   analysis that the Appellant is entitled to damages  for breach of contract in lieu of specific performance. This can be  assessed   based   on   the   cooperation   agreement   dated

April,       2615       between     the     1r5             Respondent      and    the     3r d



Respondent.   By  clause    6   of   the    said    agreement,    the   1ST Respondent            was          to      pay  $566     per  vessel    per  month  to   the 3''c1 Respondent       as agency  fee.   The   said        agreement     was in   force   until                        5th  October,     2615.           Had  there   not  been  any inducement            by      the   2nd  and         3''d  Respondents,      the   Appellant would            have  earned  $24,660  from  the   1st   Respondent.  As  I have  rejected  the  Order  for  specific performance  made  by  the     Learned   Trial    Judge,    I   shall   Order   that    the  15





Respondent pays to the Appellant the sum of $24,000 as damages 1n lieu.



  1. As  regards  loss  of imperative to note that


earnings/remuneration,   it  is an agent is only entitled to


remuneration for his services as an agent by either the express or implied terms of the agency contract, if any so provide or he has a right in restitution to claim remuneration on a quantum merit. Secondly an agent cannot claim remuneration other than in accordance with the terms of the agency contract and thirdly, 1n deciding what terms are to be implied, the court will have regard to all the circumstances of the case, inter alia, the nature and length of the services, the express terms of the contract and the customs and usages of the particular trade.

  1. In the light of the above, it is evident that an agent's claim to remuneration emanates from a contractual claim. In the case of REEVE -V- REEVE (1858)

1 F & F, 280, it was held that apart from claims of restitution, the rendering of services, however long continued, creates no right to remuneration unless the agency expressly or impliedly makes provision for such payments. If no such provision exists, terms providing for remuneration will only be implied where the circumstances are such as to indicate that the parties intended that there should be remuneration. This 1,as what was referred to as Agency and promoter fee in both the pleadings and the Judgment of Alusine Sesay, JA.(as he then was)

  1. In the said judgment, Sesay JA had this to say:

''Loss  of  Agency  and  Promoter  fee  for  the months of November, 2013 - February, 2016





At the rate of US $6,000 per month:

=  us $96,000''


  1. His Lordship continued "In respect of the loss of agency and promoter fee for the months of November, 2013 to February, 2015, the Plaintiff - PW.1 testified that this was what was agreed between himself and the 1st Defendant. This was the term of the agreement. The Courts are not reluctant to hold that binding contracts have been made despite the lack of final written and signed documents. I shall refer counsel to the case of AIR STUDIO (LYNDHURST) LIMTED T/A ENTERTAINMENT GROUP - V- LOMBARD NORTH CENTRAL PLC (2002) EWHC 3162 U.S. The Plaintiff is entitled to claim this amount as loss of agency and promoter fees against the 1'' Defendant."
  2. The Court of Appeal on the other had rejected the existence of an agency agreement and could therefore not have allowed any claim for Agency fees.
  3. Having agreed with the Learned Trial Judge that an agency agreement existed between the Appellant and first Respondent, I uphold his award of the Promoter and Agency fee. The Learned Trial Judge awarded US$126,000. However, a perusal of the pleadings would reveal that the Appellant claimed US$96,000 as Promoter and Agency fees and additionally claimed US$30,000 as incidental expenses. The Learned Trial Jlldge disallowed the later. In his testimony, the claim of the Appellant amounted to US$ 64,000.00.Following the principle that an award should be based on pleadings and evidence, I will award US$ 64,000 as Promoter and agency Fees.








  1. I agree with my Learned Sister and brothers in upholding the Learned Trial Judge's judgment that there was an inducement by the 2r" and 3rd Respondent but would add the following:-
  2. The origin of the tort is often given as LUMLEY -V- GYE C118 ER 784 (1853) in which one theatre owner induced a performer to breach her contract with a competitor and sing instead, at his venue. The English Court (Justices Erle and Wightman) described the tort thus:

''It is clear   that   the   procurement   of   the  violation of a  right is a  cause   of   action   in   all   instances  where the violation is an actionable wrong, as in violations   of   a   right   to   property,   whether   is   a joint wrongdoer, or to personal security:  he who procures the wrong is a joint wrongdoer,  and  may  be sued,   either   alone   or   jointly   with   the   agent,    in the  appropriate  action  for  the  wrong  complained  of ...  It  was   undoubtedly   prima  facie   an  unlawful   act   on the part of Miss Wagner to break her contract, and therefore   a   tortuous   act   of   the    defendant maliciously  to  procure  her  to   do  so".


Justice       Macnaughten,






Quinn     v

Leathern  (1970)   AC 495








"(A)  violation  of  a  legal  right  committed   knowingly  is               a cause        of                action....               It     is     a  violation      of    legal      right     to


interfere     with if there                        be interference."


contractual     relations     recognised    by   law no          sufficient   justification           for             the



  1. In TORQUAY HOTEL V. COUSINS (1969) 1 ALLER 522 at 530, Denning . suggested an expansion of the tort when he wrote:





"The time has come when the principle should be further extended to cover deliberate and direct interference with the execution of a contract without that causing any breach."

  1. In POSLUNS V.  TORONTO  STOCK  EXCHANGE  (46 DLR 2d) 210 (1964) Gale J. of the Ontario High Court of Justice wrote:

"While a contract cannot impose the burden of an obligation on one who is not a party to it, a duty is undoubtedly cast upon any person, although extraneous to the obligation, to refrain from interfering with its due performance unless he has a duty or a right in law to so act. Thus, if a person without lawful justification knowingly and intentionally procures the breach by a party to a contract which is valid and enforceable and thereby causes damage to another party to the contract, the person who has induced the breach commits an actionable wrong. That wrong does not rest upon the fact that the intervener has acted in order to harm his victim, for a bad motive does not per se convert an otherwise lawful act into an unlawful one, but rather because there has been an unlawful invasion of legal relations existing between others".

  1. In the 2007 OBG Ltd. V. ALLAN (2007 UKHL 21 The House of Lords held:


"To be liable for inducing must know that you are contract. It is not enough


breach of inducing that you


contract, a breach know that


you of you


are procuring an act which, as a matter of law or

construction of the contract, is a breach. You must


I,   i






actually realize that it will have this effect. Nor does it matter that you ought reasonably to have done so."

  1. Based on these principles, I am clear in my mind that the Learned Trial Judge was correct in holding that the 2"1      Respondent was liable for inducing a breach of contract between the Appellant and 1st Respondent. The issue is how the Learned Trial Judge arrived at an award of $120,000/00. In determining this; I shall dwell on the law governing the assessment of damages for inducing a breach of contract.
  2. According to MCGREGOR ON DAMAGES paragraph 40   -    004 page 1634.            Although        damage is the gist of the action (inducing breach of contract) little exact detail can be


given as to the measure of damages, consisting endorsed Lord Esher' s EXCHANGE TELEGRAPH Co -v- GREGORY


as the courts have pronouncement  1n (1896)        1          Q.B.                147


C.A. at 153 that "it is not necessary to give proof of special damage" because "the damages are damages at large"

  1. Neville J in GOLDSOLL -V- GOLDSOLL (1914)      2  Ch. 603

stated the position in somewhat more details. The "damage" he said,

"May be inferred, that is to say that the breach which has been procured by the defendant has been such as must in the ordinary course of business inflict damage upon the Plaintiff, then the Plaintiff may succeed ,,ithout proof of any particular damage which has been occasioned him"

  1. The type of damage that is likely to be inferred by the Court is loss of profits. This may be the profit



I :




in Sierra Leone by the eight vessels namely Shengai 1-8 for the period 1" June, 2015 when the inducement was instigated to October, 2015 when the cooperation contract between the l't Respondent and the 2n" and 3''' Respondent terminated. This will in effect be damages to be paid by the 2'0      and 3RD Respondent to Appellant for inducing  the  breach of contract  between  the said




Appellant and the 15



  1. I have rejected the a1-Ja rd of U$120,000. As damages for inducing breach of contract not only because it is supported by both law and fact but it is unconscionable and 1n the nature of punitive damages. The law on awarding punitive was clearly not followed by the Learned Trial Judge.





Having upheld part of the judgment of the Learned Trial Judge stated in the United States Dollars, the question arises as to the law governing judgments 1n foreign currencies.

  1. The law is that English Courts and Mutatis Mutand is the Courts of Countries which have inherited the common law of England, can only give judgment in their own currencies. This has howeyer been somewhat modified 1n England and Wales in recent times.


  1. In SCHORSCH MERIR GMbH -V- HENNIN (1975) QB 416 at 423, Lord Denning M.R. pointed out that as early as 1605 English Courts had held 1n RASTELL -V- DRAPER (1605) Yelv. So that:

"The  debt  ought        to    be demanded      by a name known and     the            judges                   are      not      apprised        of      Flemish





money: and also when the Plaintiff has his judgment, he cannot have execution by such name, for the Sheriff cannot know how to levy the money in Flemish.''


  1. His Lordship went on to say'

"For that time forward it has always been accepted that English Court can only give Judgment in Sterling..."


  1. Lord Denning himself in 1961 said in RE-: UNITED RAILWAYS OF HAVANA and REGLA WAREHOUSE LIMITED (1961)                                   A

C. 1061 at pp. 1068, 1069 "And if there is one thing clear in our law, it is that the claim must be made in Sterling and the judgment given in Sterling."



  1. Almost accompanying


as  equally   well  established   was  the rule that a debt in foreign currency should


be converted into English currency as at the date on which the debt was payable, or in the case of damages arising from breach of contract or tort, as at the date the breach occurred or the damages in relation to which compensation claimed were suffered. This principle, known as the ''breach - date" rule was of relatively more recent or1g1n. This rule was first laid down authoritatively by the Cour·t of Appeal in DI FERNINANDO -V- SIMON, SMITS and COMPANY LIMITED (1920)  3

KB 409 in relation to damages for breach of Contract, was affirmed by the House of Lords in SS CELIA -V- SS VOLTURNO ( 1921) 2 AC 544 in relation to damages for tort.

  1. The  two  related  principles  were  applied  by the

Supreme Court of Sierra Leone in the case of CASTROL OIL LIMITED -V-  JOHN  MICHAEL  MOTORS (supra) 1,here the












Learned Chief Justice, Renner-Thomas JSC delivering the judgment of the Court remitted the matter to the High Court to determine the exchange rate of the Pound Sterling to the Leones at the time the breach complained of occurred. Since the time of this Judgment, the Banking system has become more sophisticated and so the Bank of Sierra Leone should be in the position to provide the exchange rate of the Leone to the Dollar at the time of the breach


  1. The principle established 1n the CASTROL OIL case is that though a party could claim in foreign currency, the Court in delivering judgment would have to determine the Leone equivalent of that currency and state the award in Leones. I have found no reason to depart from this principle and would accordingly apply it.



For completeness, I agree with Roberts and Thompson, JJCS, that interest should be paid on the Agency and Promoter fee of U$ 64,000.00 at the rate of 9% from the date of    t of this action until Judgment.