Goff & Jones

Goff and Jones on the Law of Unjust Enrichment (formerly Goff and Jones on the Law of Restitution, usually simply abbreviated to Goff & Jones) is the leading authoritative English law textbook on restitution and unjust enrichment (ISBN 978-1847-039101). It is presently in its ninth edition. It is published by Sweet & Maxwell[1] and forms part of the Common Law Library.

As a textbook it is somewhat remarkable in that although the first edition was published in 1966, it was not until 1991 (25 years later) that the House of Lords formally recognised unjust enrichment as a separate branch of jurisprudence.[2] It is notable that a number of the key decisions in the field have been handed down by Lord Goff, and often reflect the analysis which has previously expressed academically in Goff & Jones. For example, Goff's judgment in Barclays Bank Ltd v W J Simms, Son and Cooke (Southern) Ltd [1980] 1 QB 677 was described as "the Donoghue v Stevenson of restitution for mistake",[3] but largely reflected the same rationalisation of the law in this area which he had supported in Goff & Jones.

It has been said "[i]t is no exaggeration to say that the law of unjust enrichment would not exist, certainly not as we know it, if it was not for Goff & Jones."[4] Lord Rodger said that "Goff and Jones are the Romulus and Remus of the English Law of Restitution ... Out of a few weak and scattered settlements they founded a powerful city whose hegemony now extends far and wide."[5]


The textbook has had two principal general editors during the majority its life:

In the most recent edition, it is edited by:[1]


Year Edition General Editors
1966 First Edition Robert Goff and Gareth Jones
1978 Second Edition Sir Robert Goff and Gareth Jones
1986 Third Edition Lord Goff and Gareth Jones
1993 Fourth Edition Gareth Jones
1998 Fifth Edition Gareth Jones
2002 Sixth Edition Gareth Jones
2007 Seventh Edition Gareth Jones
2011 Eighth Edition Charles Mitchell, Paul Mitchell and Stephen Watterson
2016 Ninth Edition Charles Mitchell, Paul Mitchell and Stephen Watterson


Although Lord Goff rarely referred to his own text in judicial decisions, other judges have frequently done so, including the Supreme Court.[6]


  1. "Goff & Jones: The Law of Unjust Enrichment". Sweet & Maxwell. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  2. Lipkin Gorman v Karpnale Ltd [1988] UKHL 12 (6 June 1991)
  3. Virgo, Graham (1999). The Principles of the Law of Restitution. Clarendon Press. p. 158. ISBN 0-19-876377-8.
  4. Professor Mitchell McInnes. "Review - Goff & Jones: The Law of Unjust Enrichment, 8th ed" (PDF). Canadian Business Law Journal. p. 323. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  5. "Lord Goff of Chieveley, Senior Law Lord – obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 18 August 2016.
  6. See for example, Benedetti v Sawiris [2013] UKHL 50 at paragraphs 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23 and 25.
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