Disclaimer: This work was produced by one of our expert legal writers, as a learning aid to help law students with their studies.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of LawTeacher.net. Any information contained in this case summary does not constitute legal advice and should be treated as educational content only.

Cellulose Acetate Silk Co Ltd v Widnes Foundry

291 words (1 pages) Case Summary

14th Jun 2019 Case Summary Reference this In-house law team

Jurisdiction / Tag(s): UK Law

Cellulose Acetate Silk Co Ltd v Widnes Foundry Ltd [1933] AC 20

Contract law – Contract terms – Measure of damages


The plaintiff and defendant contracted for the plaintiff to construct a chemical plant in 18 working weeks. There was a clause in the contract that stated that the defendant would pay a penalty of £20 per week for every week that the project went past the 18-week time limit. The project was completed by the defendant but it was thirty weeks late and the plaintiff incurred £5,850 in loss as a result of the delay. The loss was caused due to the fact that the material that the plaintiff used for their product was compromised by the delay. The defendant argued that the plaintiff was only able to recover money as per the terms of the agreement which was £600. The plaintiff challenged this.


The issue for the court, in this case, was to consider the effect that the penalty clause in the contract would have on the delay in the construction of the chemical plant. The clause stated that the penalty would be £20 for every week that completion was late. If this clause did not have effect, and the plaintiff could claim damages for the amount they had lost, this would be for £5,850 rather than £600.


The court dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal. The penalty sum of £20 per week, as was agreed in the contract, was the full amount that the plaintiffs could claim. Therefore, the plaintiffs could only claim for £600 on the basis that the project had been delayed for thirty weeks. This is despite the fact that the loss of the plaintiffs was significantly greater than this.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

Related Content

Jurisdictions / Tags

Content relating to: "UK Law"

UK law covers the laws and legislation of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Essays, case summaries, problem questions and dissertations here are relevant to law students from the United Kingdom and Great Britain, as well as students wishing to learn more about the UK legal system from overseas.

Related Articles