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Welcome to Compact Contract, a blog where experts from Allen & Overy analyse the latest contract law themes and developments, and what they mean for your business.
16 October 2017 Nitish Upadhyaya
In Secure Capital v Credit Suisse, the Court of Appeal confirmed that an investor who purchased an interest in notes issued in bearer form did not have a direct claim for breach of contract against the issuer of the notes. Secure Capital had indirectly purchased “longevity” notes issued by Credit Suisse which were linked to › Read More
12 October 2017 Jason Rix
In the extraordinary facts of ARB v IVF Hammersmith, E had been born following a forged consent form given by ARB’s ex-partner to an IVF clinic. ARB established that the clinic had acted in breach of contract. However, public policy precluded his claim for the cost of bringing E up. ARB claimed the clinic had breached: › Read More
26 September 2017 Jason Rix
Yesterday I learnt that Rainer Evers, one of the team of three behind this blog, died over the weekend. It’s incredibly difficult to know what to say, not least because I can hear him tearing me apart mid-sentence for my grammatical errors and lack of clarity. Here is an example of a typical email exchange. › Read More
19 September 2017 Christopher Colman
The High Court recently found that a seller of luxury houseboats was liable for misrepresentation and breach of contract, since an entire agreement clause did not exclude promises made in the run up to the sale. In Djurberg (t/a Hampton Riviera) v Small (unreported, Ch D, 1/9/17), Mr Djurberg, the owner of Hampton Riviera Marina, agreed › Read More
13 September 2017 Emily Davies
In Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust v ATOS IT Services, the court found that (i) an ambiguous limitation of liability clause was enforceable and (ii) damages for wasted expenditure were distinguishable from damages for loss of profits. The Trust engaged ATOS to provide information management services. Unhappy with the performance of the system, › Read More
08 September 2017 Damien Ryan
In Vinci Construction v Beumer the High Court confirmed its reluctance to find contractual terms void for uncertainty. Vinci was engaged to carry out construction works at Gatwick airport. It subcontracted a portion of those works to Beumer. The subcontract contained sectional completion dates and liquidated damages if those completion dates were missed as set › Read More
06 September 2017 Samantha Holland
In Shurbanova v Forex Capital Markets the High Court found that a clause permitting a broker discretion how to act in relation to – what the broker considered was – abusive trading strategies by a client were absolute contractual rights and therefore not subject to a Braganza duty to exercise its discretion rationally. Forex Capital › Read More
04 August 2017 Jason Rix
The Supreme Court has held a constructor liable for the failure to ensure a life of 20 years for the foundations of offshore wind farms it designed and installed despite the fact that the foundations were required to meet an industry standard that contained an error that caused the failure: MT Hojgaard v EON. The › Read More
02 August 2017 Megan Betts
In Stevensdrake v Hunt, the Court of Appeal has provided yet another reminder of the stringency of the test for implied terms affirmed by the Supreme Court in Marks and Spencer v BNP Paribas. It also held that an apparent “umbrella agreement” could not govern or impact the terms of a subsequent Conditional Fee Agreement › Read More
31 July 2017 Rainer Evers
Whether your counter-party has actually repudiated its contract is a big question. If you wrongly treat a contract as having been repudiated and so stop performing that contract yourself, you may face a claim for breach of contract. In Vitol v Beta Renowable, Vitol had agreed to buy biofuel from Beta, but Beta had then › Read More