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.

Photo Production v Securicor - 1980

366 words (1 pages) Case Summary

30th Sep 2021 Case Summary Reference this In-house law team

Jurisdiction / Tag(s): UK Law

Legal Case Brief

Photo Production Ltd v Securicor Transport Ltd [1980] AC 827

Due diligence, negligence and exclusion clauses in contracts


Photo Production Ltd and Securicor had a contract for the provision of security services by the latter to the former.  One Securicor’s staff, Mr Musgrove, decided to warm himself while providing these security services on Photo Production’s premises, and he did so by starting a fire. The fire spread and burned down Photo Production’s factory, causing them damage amounting to £615,000. Photo Production sued Securicor, who however defended by pointing to an exclusion clause in the contract which stated that Securicor would “under no circumstances be responsible for any injurious act or default by any employee. . . unless such act or default could have been foreseen and avoided by the exercise of due diligence on the part of [Securicor].” On those grounds, Securicor asserted that they were not liable for the damage caused. Photo Production in turn asserted that Mr Musgrove’s actions as agent of Securicor constituted a fundamental breach of the contract, and therefore invalidated it along with the exclusion clause. In the Court of Appeal it was held that similarly to Karsales (Harrow) Ltd. v Wallis, [1956] 1 WLR 936, [1956] 2 All ER 866, the doctrine of fundamental breach did apply in this case and that Securicor was therefore liable. Securicor appealed to the House of Lords.


The issue in this case was whether the doctrine of fundamental breach applied and was relevant, and whether an exclusion clause could be effective on the facts of this case.


The House of Lords held that the doctrine of fundamental breach was not relevant here, and that the case was a matter of construction of the contract. The exclusion clause did on the facts, cover the damage in question and therefore Securicor were not liable for the damage.

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