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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.
18 December 2018 Claudia Barry
In Hopkinson v Towergate, the Court of Appeal deployed correction by way of interpretation to fix drafting errors. Hopkinson and Howard sold a company to Towergate. The company gave financial advice to retail customers. Following FCA reviews, significant compensation was payable to the customers for the period where the sellers owned the company. Towergate claimed › Read More
17 December 2018 Kerry Chan
In CRS v McLaren, the High Court, quoting RTS, reiterated that the court should not impose binding contracts on parties which they have not reached. CRS and McLaren entered into a heads of agreement, which envisaged that a more detailed, formal contract would be agreed. This never happened, but the project, for a GT4 racing car based › Read More
07 December 2018 Jason Rix
Last month Edwin Peel came to talk to us about developments in contract law. A chunk of the presentation was about interpretation and what he coined its “de-Hoffmannisation”.* We now know, following Wood v Capita, that: “The court’s task is to ascertain the objective meaning of the language which the parties have chosen to express their agreement. › Read More
07 December 2018 Jason Rix
In UBS AG v Rose Capital the court held that a bank’s entitlement to call for repayment of a loan was an absolute right and not a contractual discretion. Rose Capital had mortgaged a property to UBS as security for a loan. The agreement stated “…we [UBS] shall be entitled at our absolute discretion to require repayment › Read More
03 December 2018 Claudia Barry
In GPP v Solar the court offers guidance on distinguishing a guarantee from an indemnity, and holds that two equitable principles of guarantee law do not apply to indemnities. GPP, as employer, entered into Engineering, Procurement and Construction contracts with a (now insolvent) contractor. Solar, parent of the contractor, was sued by GPP as guarantor › Read More
20 November 2018 Nathalie Burn
In S&T v Grove Developments the Court of Appeal held that Grove’s “pay less notice” was valid despite it only cross-referencing, rather than attaching, a spreadsheet detailing its sum. The court felt this could not give rise to any misunderstanding in the mind of a reasonable recipient standing in the shoes of S&T. Section 111 (4) of › Read More
15 November 2018 Georgina Thomson
In Vannin Capital v RBOS Shareholders Action Group the court held, by way of summary judgment, that Vannin’s termination notice extended to both the litigation funding agreements in place with the shareholders and not just one as Vannin contended. Litigation funder Vannin Capital had entered two funding agreements with the RBOS shareholders: one for GBP 1.5m and › Read More
07 November 2018 Natasha Rao
In SDI Retail v Rangers Football Club, the High Court held that Rangers FC should not have entered into a merchandising agreement with a third party without giving Sports Direct, the existing licensee, an opportunity to match the third party’s offer (under the terms of the licence). The main question was whether a requirement that › Read More
29 October 2018 Becky Valori
In Airbus v Generali Italia, the High Court held that Alitalia’s insurers were bound by an exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of the English courts in an agreement between Alitalia and Airbus. The proceedings arose out of an incident in 2013 where an aircraft leased by Alitalia was required to make an emergency landing due › Read More
16 October 2018 Leah Fisher
In Arcadis v AMEC, the Court of Appeal held that a liability cap had been incorporated into a letter of instruction. AMEC, a specialist concrete contractor, employed Arcadis, an engineering outfit, to help design two construction projects: the Wellcome Building and Castlepoint car park. A detailed Protocol Agreement was exchanged but never finalised. Work was › Read More