Brief of Barry v Davies

Brief of Barry v Davies by Legum

Barry v Davies [2000] 1 WLR 1962

Material Facts:

At an auction advertised “without reserve”, the claimant bid £200 each for two machines that costed £14,000. The bid of the claimant was the highest bid, but the auctioneer decided to withdraw the goods from the auction before the hammer fell. The claimant sued for breach of contract.

Procedural History:



1. Whether or not there was an enforceable contract between the bidder and the defendant.


1. The court held that an enforceable contract existed between the bidder and the defendant.

Ratio Decidendi:

The court stated that an auction without reserve constituted an offer to sell to the highest bidder. Since the claimant gave the highest bid at the auction, the defendant was contractually obliged to sell the goods.