Formation – is there a contract?

Performance key to performance fee

Emma Warren

In Donovan v Grainmarket, the High Court held that a joint venture party, to an agreement contained in heads of terms, was entitled to his performance fee, even though he had arguably abandoned the venture. In 2012, the parties entered a joint venture to acquire commercial properties and redevelop them for residential use. The parties Read More

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“Please go ahead with the below…” a binding contract?

Ellie Ismaili

In Athena v Superdrug, the court held that a two-email exchange—culminating with “Please go ahead with the below…”—amounted to a binding contract. In the exchange, Athena asked Superdrug to confirm that a stated minimum number of orders was being placed. Superdrug responded saying “Please go ahead with the below…” Superdrug, argued there was no contract Read More

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Effectiveness of no waiver provision upheld

Sykes Mitchell

In Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation v Euler Hermes, an assignment was not effective where a requirement for a confirmation had not been waived in compliance with a “no waiver” provision; but a power of attorney saved the day. As part of a public private partnership scheme for the construction of a waste treatment facility in Read More

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Estate agent’s commission: Supreme Court on binding agreements and implied terms

Jason Rix

This morning the Supreme Court found, overturning the Court of Appeal, that a short telephone call was enough to create a binding agreement between an estate agent and his client, even though the trigger event for the commission had not been specified (Wells v Devani). There were very different accounts of the crucial phone call. Read More

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Take care: is your “agreement” only an agreement to agree?

Bethany Gregory

In Morris v Swanton Care, the Court of Appeal held that an earn-out provision in a share purchase agreement contained an unenforceable agreement to agree. When Morris sold shares in a residential care business to Swanton, the parties included an earn-out mechanism in the share purchase agreement to enable him to receive deferred consideration. This Read More

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Be careful when you race to perform an agreement

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

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A question of construction: liability caps and building contracts

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

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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

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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

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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

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