Fibrosa S.A. v. Fairbairn Lawson Combe Barbour Ltd (1942). The Company from Kresy (Polish Eastern Borderlands) Before the House of Lords


  • Jan Halberda Jagiellonian University (Uniwersytet Jagielloński)


legal history, England, English law, common law, restitution, unjust enrichment


The paper discusses Fibrosa S.A. v. Fairbairn Lawson Combe Barbour Ltd (1942), a case considered as one of several landmark cases in the English law of restitution. What was at stake in litigation before the House of Lords was whether a Polish plaintiff should recover a prepayment transferred pursuant to a contract that had become frustrated because of the outbreak of war in 1939. The lords had to decide on the application of two potentially dissonant doctrines – frustration and total failure of consideration. But what made the Fibrosa case famous was an obiter dictum delivered by lord Wright. This eminent judge declared that English law should provide remedies for unjust enrichment. That is the very reason why the case is still being cited by the lawyers today.


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How to Cite

Fibrosa S.A. v. Fairbairn Lawson Combe Barbour Ltd (1942). The Company from Kresy (Polish Eastern Borderlands) Before the House of Lords. (2016). Miscellanea Historico-Iuridica, 14(1), 197-217.

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