Hedley Byrne v Heller [1964]

Liability in damages for negligent misrepresentation first
Plaintiffs were advertising agents who booked
substantial advertising space on behalf of their clients.
Terms stated plaintiffs liable if clients defaulted.
Plaintiffs sought financial reference from client’s
Bank said client ‘considered good for its ordinary
business transactions’.
Reference provided ‘without responsibility’
Client defaulted and plaintiffs lost money.
House of Lords held had it not been for bank’s
disclaimer claim against defendants would have succeeded.
Duty of care could exist where ‘special relationship’
exists between person making statement and person to whom it is made.
[Extended scope of tort liability for negligent
Shortly after Hedley
, Misrepresentation Act modified common law rules as to misrepresentation,
so now often possible to claim damages under common law and / or Act]