Constructing a Doctrine of Economic Duress

Construction cases have played a pivotal role developing the doctrine of economic duress. In the seminal case of Williams v. Roffrey Brothers, the Court of Appeal, by taking an expansive view of the doctrine of consideration, established economic duress as the device for policing renegotiation of contracts. Recently, the cases of DSND Subsea v. Petroleum Geo-Services and Carillion Construction Limited v. Felix (U.K.) Limited in the Technology and Construction Court have resulted in further development. 

This article argues that the doctrine emerging from the cases may be difficult to reconcile with established contractual principles. A more predictable approach, drawing on established legal principles, is then proposed.