Oral Contract in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Rock Advertising Ltd v MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd
    • Supreme Court
    • 16 May 2018

    At the very least, (i) there would have to be some words or conduct unequivocally representing that the variation was valid notwithstanding its informality; and (ii) something more would be required for this purpose than the informal promise itself: see Actionstrength Ltd v International Glass Engineering In Gl En SpA [2003] 2 AC 541, paras 9 (Lord Bingham), 51 (Lord Walker).

  • Steadman v Steadman
    • House of Lords
    • 19 Jun 1974

    In my view, unless the law is to be divorced from reason and principle, the rule must be that you take the whole circumstances, leaving aside evidence about the oral contract, and see whether it is proved that the acts relied on were done in reliance on a contract: that will be proved if it is shewn to be more probable than not.

  • Law v Jones
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 10 Apr 1973

    But it is not, in my judgment, necessary that the note or memorandum should acknowledge the existence of a contract.

  • Papas Olio JSC v Grains & Fourrages SA
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 18 Dec 2009

    It is commonplace in commercial life, particularly in markets where the use of standard forms of contract is common, for parties to agree on all the essential terms necessary to bring about the conclusion of an oral contract and for the oral contract then to be followed by a written document, often described as a confirmation or recap, which will not only set out the essential terms but other terms common in the market.

  • Evans (J.) & Son (Portsmouth) Ltd v Andrea Merzario Ltd (Ruhr)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 13 Nov 1975

    The Court is entitled to look at and should look at all the evidence from start to finish in order to see what the bargain was that was struck between the parties. The defendants gave such a promise which to my mind against this background plainly amounted to an enforceable contractual promise.

  • RTS Flexible Systems Ltd v Molkerei Alois Muller GmbH & Company KG
    • Supreme Court
    • 21 Jul 2010

    (3) The fact that the transaction is executed rather than executory can be very relevant. Specifically, the fact that the transaction is executed makes it easier to imply a term resolving any uncertainty, or, alternatively, it may make it possible to treat a matter not finalised in negotiations as inessential. This may be so in both fully executed and partly executed transactions.

  • Shogun Finance Ltd v Hudson
    • House of Lords
    • 19 Nov 2003

    Where the person signing is also acting as the agent of another, evidence can be adduced of that fact. This rule is one of the great strengths of English commercial law and is one of the main reasons for the international success of English law in preference to laxer systems which do not provide the same certainty.

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Legislation
  • Immigration Act 2016
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2016
    ...... . (a) under a contract of employment,. . . (b) under a contract of apprenticeship,. . . (c) ...oral or in writing.”. . (4) In section 28A(3)(a) (arrest without warrant) ......
  • Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1969
    ......disease suffered or contracted outside Great Britain. (2) Regulations may provide that the amount for ...contract is expressed or implied, oral or in writing. (2) This Act shall not require an employer to insure—. ......
  • Contracts of Employment Act 1963
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1963
    ......or works under a contract with an employer, whether. the contract be for manual labour, clerical work or. otherwise, be expressed or implied, oral or in writing,. and whether it be a contract of service or of apprenticeship;. and cognate expressions shall be construed. accordingly;. . ‘the ......
  • Contracts of Employment Act 1972
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1972
    ......worked under) a contract with an employer, whether. the contract be for manual labour, clerical work or. otherwise, be expressed or implied, oral or in writing,. and whether it be a contract of service or of apprenticeship;. and cognate expressions shall be construed. accordingly. (2) ......
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Proprietary Estoppel, Constructive Trusts and Section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989
    • Nbr. 63-6, November 2000
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... a fundamental change in the law respecting formalities for contracts relating to land, rendering the doctrine of part performance obsolete. 1 ...In 1991 they orally agreed that Brownie Gotts would buy a property in Cromer to be refurbished ......
  • The Conversion of Guarantee Contracts
    • Nbr. 29-5, September 1966
    • The Modern Law Review
    ......, the guarantor would have another protcction, which might do him very much more good than the ability to escape an oral guarantee. There seems to be nothing in principle to prevent this, subject to the other requirements mentioned later ......
  • Statutes and Reports of Committees
    • Nbr. 17-5, September 1954
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... AND REPORTS OF COMMITTEIES LAW REFORM (ENFORCEMENT OF CONTRACTS) ACT, 1954 THE Statute of Frauds is dead; long live the ... and dangers surely affect almost every kind of oral contract, including oral contracts of indemnity.* If judges ......
  • CHANGING A BARGAIN BY CONFIRMING IT
    • Nbr. 33-5, September 1970
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... that case, inter alia, a contra& of sale was made orally by Mr. Golden on the Bury St. Edmund's Corn Exchange for the ... As the parties had on many previous occasions made contracts in just such a way, both the Court of Appeal and the House ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
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