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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.
04 June 2020 Emma Keeling
Yesterday, the Government’s Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill, described by our restructuring team as the most significant insolvency reforms in the UK for a generation, passed through the House of Commons. For a full analysis see their bulletin here. In this post I will focus on so-called “ipso facto” clauses, ie clauses which allow termination › Read More
15 May 2020 Celine O'Donovan
In Bains v Arunvill, the Court of Appeal held that non-performance amounting to a material breach of contract could not be remedied by a promise to perform. Non-performance could only be remedied by commencing actual performance. Arunvill had hired Bains as a consultant, with the specific services to be provided largely left at Bains’ discretion. › Read More
13 May 2020 Joseph Worndl
In 2 Entertain v Sony, the High Court held that liability for losses stemming from a warehouse fire during the 2011 London Riots could not be excluded by a force majeure clause. Sony provided warehousing and distribution services to 2 Entertain, a BBC subsidiary selling DVDs. In 2011, during, the London riots, a gang set › Read More
11 May 2020 Bianca Vasilache
In UK Acorn v Markel, the High Court implied a term that Markel should act rationally where something needed to be demonstrated to its “satisfaction”. UK Acorn, a bridging finance lender, obtained two judgments against a surveyor for negligent overvaluations. It sought to recover from Markel, the surveyor’s insurer. Markel tried to avoid paying by › Read More
05 May 2020 Jason Rix
In Gwynt Y Mor Ofto the court found that an indemnity in a sale and purchase agreement for loss “prior to Completion” meant the 6-day period between signing and completion. Accordingly, it did not cover corrosion in sub-sea cables dating back months or years. The defendants sold to the claimants the business of owning, maintaining and › Read More
16 April 2020 Tessa Pullen
In Teesside Gas v CATS North Sea, the Court of Appeal takes us step-by-step through the unitary exercise of contractual interpretation. This was a dispute about the amount payable by Teesside Gas to CATS for the right to use part of the capacity of a North Sea pipeline. Teesside Gas contracted with CATS to reserve › Read More
14 April 2020 Loraine MacDonald
In Moorgate Capital v Sun European, the High Court found that no contract arose from a telephone conversation between two directors because there was insufficient evidence of a consensus being reached or an intention to create legal relations. As a result, Moorgate lost out on a GBP 1m payment. A director from Moorgate (Mr Mockett) › Read More
30 March 2020 Jason Rix
In the light of COVID-19, below is a road map to help you when assessing whether or not a force majeure clause has been triggered in an English law agreement. But first, an apology: you are probably overwhelmed with lists like this. I originally put it together on Friday 13 March (a lifetime ago) with › Read More
09 March 2020 Pierre-Baptiste Chipault
In Russell v Cartwright, the High Court held that there was no implied obligation of good faith in a joint venture agreement since the traditional tests for implication of contractual terms were not satisfied. Nor were there fiduciary obligations, as the contractual relationship was not fiduciary in nature. Three years after a joint venture for › Read More
02 March 2020 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