B joined SIS.
Signed Official Secrets Act – contractual undertaking
not to disclose information even after employment.
Later defected to Soviets.
Wrote book and entered into agreement with UK
Received advance payments and was entitled to more.
Crown got injunction preventing further payment.
Attorney-General then claimed B had committed breach
of contract and that restitutionary principle should apply to enable Crown to
recover any further profits to which B was entitled
House of Lords found for Attorney-General.
In exceptional cases, where normal remedies inadequate
to compensate for breach of contract, was open to court to order defendant account
for all profits either received or to which he is entitled.
This was an exceptional case – work of SIS depends on
confidentiality of information.
B responsible for harming the public interest by
breaches of his undertaking not to divulge information.
Crown had legitimate interest in ensuring B did not
benefit from revealing state information in breach of contract.
Normal contractual remedies such as specific
performance and injunction would not meet that objective.
Hence publishers ordered to pay to Crown any amount
still owing to B.