Contract Mistakes in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Bell v Lever Bros Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 15 Dic 1931

    Corresponding to mistake as to the existence of the subject matter is mistake as to title in cases where unknown to the parties the buyer is already the owner of that which the seller purports to sell to him. To such a case Lord Westbury applied the principle that if parties contract under a mutual mistake and misapprehension as to their relative and respective rights the result is that the agreement is liable to be set aside as having proceeded upon a common mistake.

    A. would never have entered into the bargain if he had known the fact. They can be supported on the ground that it is of paramount importance that contracts should be observed: and that if parties honestly comply with the essentials of the formation of contratcs, i.e., agree in the same terms on the same subject matter, they are bound: and must rely on the stipulations of the contract for protection from the effect of facts unknown to them.

    "In the contemplation of both parties fundamental to the continued validity of the contract," "a foundation essential to its existence," "a fundamental reason for making it" are phrases found in the important judgment of Scrutton L.J. in the present case. Nothing is more dangerous than to allow oneself liberty to construct for the parties contracts which they have not in terms made by importing implications which would appear to make the contract more businesslike or more just.

  • Great Peace Shipping Ltd v Tsavliris Salvage (International) Ltd (Cape Providence)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 14 Oct 2002

    Mistakes have relevance in the law of contract in a number of different circumstances. They may prevent the mutuality of agreement that is necessary for the formation of a contract. It may be that each party mistakenly believes that he has entered into such a contract in circumstances where an objective appraisal of the facts reveals that no agreement has been reached as to the terms of the contract.

    (i) there must be a common assumption as to the existence of a state of affairs; (ii) there must be no warranty by either party that that state of affairs exists; (iii) the non-existence of the state of affairs must not be attributable to the fault of either party; (iv) the non-existence of the state of affairs must render performance of the contract impossible; (v) the state of affairs may be the existence, or a vital attribute, of the consideration to be provided or circumstances which must subsist if performance of the contractual adventure is to be possible.

  • Statoil ASA v Louis Dreyfus Energy Services L P
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 29 Set 2008

    The general rule at common law is that if one party has made a mistake as to the terms of the contract and that mistake is known to the other party, then the contract is not binding. The reasoning is that although the parties appear, objectively, to have agreed terms, it is clear that they are not in agreement. Some of the cases talk of such a contract being “void”, but I think it is clearer to say that there was never a contract at all.

  • Rose (F. E.) (London) v William H. Pim Jnr. & Company
    • Court of Appeal
    • 16 Jul 1953

    In order to got rectification, it is necessary to show that the parties were in complete agreement on the terms of their contract, but by an error wrote them down wrongly; and in this regard, in order to ascertain the terms of their contract, you do not look into the inner minds of the parties – into their intentions – any more than you do in the formation of any other contract.

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  • The Court of Protection Rules 2017
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2017
    ...... . . Amendment of application . Rule 5.14 . . . Clerical mistakes or slips . Rule 5.15 . . . Endorsement of amendment . Rule 5.16 . . ... (ii) not resident in a Brussels Contracting State, a State bound by the Lugano Convention or a Regulation State, as ......
  • County Court Rules 1981
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1981
    ...... (b) is founded on a contract for the sale or hire of goods under which the purchase price or rental is .... Clerical mistakes and errors . 5. Clerical mistakes in judgments or orders or errors ......
  • Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Act 2014
    • Scotland
    • 1 de Enero de 2014
    ...... . . (f) the entering into of a contract settlement (see section 118), or. . . (g) such other method as Revenue ... omissions in the claim (whether errors of principle, arithmetical mistakes or otherwise). . (2) No such correction may be made-. . . (a) more ......
  • Finance Act 2015
    • England & Wales
    • 1 de Enero de 2015
    ...... . . (b) Chapter 9 of Part 4 of ITTOIA 2005 (gains from contracts for life insurance etc).";. . . . (d) in subsection (4), after ... in the return (whether errors of principle, arithmetical mistakes or otherwise), and. . . (b) anything else in the return that the officer ......
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Applying evidence-based HRM: the case of bonuses in the home furnishing industry
    • Núm. 2-2, Octubre 2014
    • Evidence-based HRM: a Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship
    • 192-208
    Purpose: – In the home furnishing industry outside contract installers produce higher quality work than in-house installers which is reflected in less revisits to customers to repair mistakes. Many...
    ...... – In the home furnishing industry outside contract installers produce higher quality work thanin-house installers which is flected in less revisits to customers to repair mistakes. Many home furnishingretailers are therefore contemplating introducing so ......
  • We All Make Mistakes: A ‘Duty of Virtue’ Theory of Restitutionary Liability for Mistaken Payments
    • Núm. 81-2, Marzo 2018
    • The Modern Law Review
    In contrast to the moral foundations of contract, tort, and the law of property, which are generally regarded as elements of Kantian ‘right’, the liability to return the value of mistaken payments ...
    ......E. Penner ∗ In contrast to the moral foundations of contract, tort, and the law of property, which ar e generally regarded as elements of Kantian ‘right’, the liability to return the value of mistaken ......
  • Knowledge Management within the UK Oil Industry: A case study on Knowledge Management implementation within OILEX Ltd
    • Núm. 30-4, Abril 2000
    • VINE
    • 38-43
    A study was carried out at OILEX from September to November 1999 which examined the extent to which the organisation was capturing and sharing its knowledge and experience. Evidence suggested that ...
    ...... the industry, falling recruitment, an ageing workforce and use of contract workers have all made an impact on sustaining knowledge and experience ... out and allows the whole organisation to learn from previous mistakes. Ultimately, such learning leads to greater efficiency and productivity. ......
  • A New Approach To Mistake In Contract
    • Núm. 28-3, Mayo 1965
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... Some expectation-mistakes, it is true, are not without legal consequence; but this (as we shall see) not on a basis of freedom of contract, ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Mistakes in notices: useful guidance from the Court of Appeal
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    Earlier this month the Court of Appeal decided the case of Captain Nigel Crighton Pease v Jeffrey William Carter and Louise Mary Carter. The case concerned whether statutory notices of proceedings ...
    ......This decision made clear that minor defects in contractual notices will not necessarily invalidate a notice if a reasonable recipient “would not have been perplexed in any way by the minor error“. The ......
  • The Insurance Act 2015: What You Need To Know
    • Mondaq UK
    ...... The Act will affect policyholders who enter into insurance contracts wholly or mainly for the purposes of their trade, business or profession. ... contract clauses, which previously had the effect that innocent mistakes could constitute a breach of warranty and enable insurers to avoid the ......
  • Landlords And Tenants - Take Notice!
    • Mondaq UK
    ...... how to draft and serve a notice in accordance with the underlying contract or statute, otherwise there could be serious (and unwanted) repercussions. ...Courts construe notices strictly and are unlikely to excuse mistakes. The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to ......
  • English Law – A Love Letter
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...English law is frequently chosen as the governing law of the contract in international transactions, even though neither party to the agreement ... The ability of English law to correct mistakes by construction. Those who brand English law of contract interpretation ......
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