Home Information Cases Top Shop Precincts Ltd v Kwik Save Stores Ltd (2001)

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Top Shop Precincts Ltd v Kwik Save Stores Ltd (2001)


In a case that applied only to its own facts, it could not be said that an award of £37,500 in lieu of an injunction requiring restoration of demised premises for breach of the tenant's covenant not to alter, fell outside the ambit of the judge's discretion.


Defendant's appeal from the order of HH Judge Goldstein made on the 27 March 2000 that there be judgment for the claimant in the sum of £37,500 in lieu of an injunction. The claimant landlord sought an injunction requiring the defendant tenant to restore the exterior wall of supermarket premises into which the tenant had built a fire door. The judge held that the provisions of the lease contained an absolute prohibition on alterations and awarded £37,500 in lieu of an injunction on the basis that the landlord could have expected an additional rent of £3,000 per annum for a relaxation of the covenant that he then discounted by an appropriate multiplier. The tenant sought permission to appeal on the grounds that: (i) the judge had erred in construing the lease as containing an absolute prohibition against alterations; (ii) the judge had erred in rejecting evidence showing that the cost of constructing an alternative fire door would have been £4,500; and (iii) the award of damages in lieu of the injunction had been excessively high. Permission was granted only on the third ground, upon which the court heard full argument.


(1) In assessing the level of damages the judge had been asked to do the best he could on limited material in circumstances where it would have been costly to have adjourned. (2) Although the sum awarded seemed high it could not be said that it fell outside the generous ambit of the discretion that the judge enjoyed. (3) It was hoped that no-one would ever consider citing this case as authority for the level of damages that could be awarded in similar circumstances. This decision applied to the facts of this case only.

Appeal dismissed.

Bristol County Court
Judge LJ, Mance LJ
Judgment date
26 January 2001

​[2001] EWCA Civ 149

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