(ii) Pure Services

An alternative category of services is those which leave no end product, known as ‘pure services’, such as the provision of lessons and entertainments. Beatson has argued that, because of the absence of an end product, such services cannot constitute an enrichment, except where the defendant has been saved a necessary expense.[1] But this is to adopt a highly artificial definition of enrichment, grounded upon economic principles, which is contrary to common sense.[2] The provision of pure services can be objectively beneficial since reasonable people are prepared to pay for them, and so they should be regarded as an objective enrichment,[3] although this will be subject to subjective devaluation. Pure services which leave no end product have been recognized as a relevant enrichment, such as the removal of sewage[4] and the policing of a football match.[5]

  • [1] Beatson, The Use and Abuse of Unjust Enrichment, 23. 97 See p 63, above.
  • [2] 98 See BP Exploration Co (Libya) Ltd v Hunt (No 2) [1979] 1 WLR 783, 801-2 (Robert Goff J).
  • [3] 99 Rowe v Vale of White Horse DC [2003] EWHC 388 (Admin), [2003] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 418.
  • [4] 100 Constable of the Greater Manchester Police v Wigan Athletic AFC Ltd [2008] EWCA Civ 1449, [2009] 1
  • [5] WLR 1580.
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