The tort of deceit

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The tort of deceit overlaps with Misrepresentation, but the tort does not require that the defendant and the claimant be in a contractual relationship. For the claim to succeed, the claimant must show that

  1. the defendant made a respresentation to him
  2. the representation was false at the time it is acted upon
  3. the was an element of Dishonesty -- the misrepresentation must be wilfully false. Carelessness will not suffice (DerryVPeek1888)
  4. the representation was intentional, even though the defendant's motive may have been laudable (PolhillVWalter1832)
  5. the claimant was, in fact, deceived; that is, the representation was known to him (HorsfallVThomas1862)
  6. the claimant suffered loss or damage

It has consistently been held that there is no test of 'remoteness' when assessing damages for deceit. Any loss that is directly attributable to the deceit must be made good by the defendant (ClefAquitaineVLaport2001).

If the effect of the deceit is to cause the claimant to enter into a contract, then a claim under s.2(1) of the misrepresentation act (1967). This has the effect of requiring the defendant to show good grounds for believing his representation to be true.