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.

Esso Petroleum v Harper’s Garage

302 words (1 pages) Case Summary

16th Jul 2019 Case Summary Reference this In-house law team

Jurisdiction / Tag(s): UK Law

Esso Petroleum Co Ltd v Harper’s Garage (Stourport) Ltd [1968] AC 269

Tie in agreement for 21 years was an unreasonable restraint on trade


The appellant entered into two agreements for the supply of motor fuel to the respondents. The respondents agreed to a tie-in agreement not to resell motor fuels except in accordance with the appellants’ retail schedule prices, not to operate any discount scheme and to keep their garages open for reasonable hours. The period of agreement at one garage was 4 years and 5 months and at the other garage there was a solus agreement for 21 years and a mortgage with a tie covenant which forbade redemption for 21 years.


Thereafter, the appellants wrote to the respondents stating that they would not insist on the implementation of the resale price maintenance clauses in the contracts. The respondents replied that they deemed the agreements null and void by virtue of the removal of these clauses. The respondents began to sell another brand of petrol. The appellants sought injunctions. At first instance, judgment was given for the appellants. The respondents were successful in the Court of Appeal.


The House of Lords held that the doctrine of restraint of trade applied to both garages. It was noted that the existence of a mortgage did not exclude the doctrine of restraint of trade. The shorter period of 4 years and 5 months was valid, so that the tie-in agreement. However, the longer period of 21 years went beyond any period for which developments were reasonably foreseeable and in the absence of evidence of some advantage to the appellants for which a shorter period would not be adequate, the agreement was void.

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