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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.

A consideration of antique Islamic art

Victoria Williams

In Rock v MWB, the Supreme Court declined to deal with consideration. In Simantob v Shavleyan, the High Court had to grapple with it. The parties were art dealers and had settled claims relating to a dispute over the sale of antique Islamic art. Mr Shavleyan agreed to pay Mr Simantob USD 1.5m in full Read More

Strike out: court rejects implied contract claim

Elizabeth Staves

The High Court in Standish v RBS  held that an alleged overarching agreement was unnecessary and therefore could not arise by implication. There was no breach of an implied duty of good faith and the claim was struck out as it was bound to fail. Standish were shareholders in a company which suffered financial difficulties. Read More

Egg on your face: weaker test for inducement where misrepresentation fraudulent

Georgina Thomson

When NIVE sued Rembrandt for breach of its contract for the supply of egg products, Rembrandt claimed it had been induced to enter the contract by NIVE’s fraudulent misrepresentation. The court agreed that the representation had been made, but had it induced Rembrandt to enter the contract (NIVE v Rembrant)? In recent years the test Read More

The meaning of “payable”

Becky Gardner

In Minera Las Bambas v Glencore, the court considered the meaning of the word “payable” in a tax indemnity. In doing so it emphasised the importance of the documentary context to interpretation and attached less weight to the factual matrix where the contract had been drafted by experienced lawyers. The parties entered into a share purchase Read More

The copyright and wrongs of tax evasion and implied contractual terms

Christopher Cobb

Addressing the copyright in computer software, the High Court saw past the tax advantageous labels applied to a contractual relationship to decide ownership by virtue of an employee/employer relationship or, alternatively, an implied assignment (Sprint Electric v Buyer’s Dream). This post focuses on the first of several contractual agreements in dispute between the parties. Sprint Read More

Redressing the balance: Banks owe no contractual duty to customers in respect of regulator-mandated review

Jon Turnbull

Back in 2012 the FSA (now FCA) launched an investigation into mis-selling of interest rate hedging products. A number of banks agreed with the FCA to conduct a pro-active redress exercise. This required the banks to review their sales to non-sophisticated customers and provide redress where appropriate. Some customers – unsatisfied with the redress on Read More

Shall-ow promises won’t impose an obligation

Finnuala Meaden-Torbitt

In PM Law v Motorplus, the Court of Appeal has found that despite the use of the word “shall” in a contract, no obligation was imposed by it. PM Law, a law firm, and Motorplus, an insurance intermediary, entered into a contract in 2007 for the referral of personal injury claims. The parties had already Read More

Disputes about “reasonable endeavours” ill-suited to summary judgment

Crawford Jamieson

The High Court has held reasonable endeavours clauses require a detailed factual investigation, making them unsuitable for summary judgment (Insurance Medical Reporting v Your Lawyers Ltd). Insurance Medical Reporting provided medical reports to a law firm called Your Lawyers Ltd which specialises in personal injury claims. The parties had entered into an a credit agreement Read More

Trade mark licence: termination does not mean the licensor can use

Adrian Dykes

In Holland and Barrett v GNIC, the Court of Appeal considered the interplay between the terms of a trade mark licence relating to exclusivity, termination and revocation of the licensed marks for non-use. The licence was part of a business that Holland and Barrett bought that sold nutritional supplements under the GNC brand. The licence used Read More

A case of no interest whatsoever?

Oliver Rule

In Al Jaber v Al Ibrahim, the Court of Appeal held that interest should not be implied into an oral loan agreement. Back in 2001, the claimant lent USD 30m to the defendants to finance an Arabic 24 hour news channel. The parties never mentioned interest and the arrangement was not documented, and for a Read More