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Reading v. Regem

Citation. 2 KB 268 (KBD 1948)
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Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff, Reading, is a sergeant in the army who is trying to reclaim money he earned as a smuggler taken from him by Defendant army, Regem.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

An agent has a duty to act solely for the master, and any profit earned while violating this duty belongs to the master.


Plaintiff served in the army in Cairo. Plaintiff was hired to help smuggle goods by wearing his army uniform and escorting goods on the bed of a truck. Upon discovery of his second job, Defendant dismissed Plaintiff from the army and confiscated his earnings from his second job. Plaintiff argued that Defendant did not suffer any damages or reduced profits.


The issue is whether Plaintiff is entitled to the money earned while escorting goods during his second job.


The master is entitled to the profits regardless of whether or not they were damaged or lost profits. Plaintiff-servant enriched himself through his position with Defendant’s army, and therefore Defendant is entitled to the money earned. Plaintiff is required to serve his master when in the position of servant.


The servant had to relinquish his earnings because he earned the money solely through his position in the army. He would have not have necessarily been forced to give away earnings for work or activity that was independent from his position, such as gambling on the job or gaining interest from a loan to a co-worker.

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