Oral Contract in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Firstpost Homes Ltd v Johnson
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 20 July 1995

    Whereas an oral contract was allowed and enforceable provided that it was evidenced in writing and the memorandum or note thereof was signed by or on behalf of the party against whom it was sought to be enforced, oral contracts are now of no effect and all contracts must be signed by or on behalf of all the parties.

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

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

  • Steadman v Steadman
    • House of Lords
    • 19 June 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.

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

    In such a case the Court does not require to have recourse to lawyers' devices such as collateral oral warrantly in order to seek to odduse evidence which would not otherwise be admissible. 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.

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

    Thus, if the contents of the document are, without more, insufficient unequivocally to identify the actual individual referred to or if the identification of the party is non-specific, evidence can be given to fill any gap. 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.

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

    Whether there is a binding contract between the parties and, if so, upon what terms depends upon what they have agreed. It depends not upon their subjective state of mind, but upon a consideration of what was communicated between them by words or conduct, and whether that leads objectively to a conclusion that they intended to create legal relations and had agreed upon all the terms which they regarded or the law requires as essential for the formation of legally binding relations.

  • 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).

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Legislation
  • Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016
    • Wales
    • January 01, 2016
    ... ... dwelling as a home, including provision establishing two kinds of contract for the purpose of renting homes; and for connected purposes ... [18 ... (b) set out circumstances in which a contract-holder is entitled to an oral hearing, and whether and by whom he or she may be represented at such a ... ...
  • Consumer Rights Act 2015
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2015
  • Immigration Act 2016
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2016
    ... ... (1) to a person working is to that person working—(a) under a contract of employment,(b) under a contract of apprenticeship,(c) under a contract ... oral or in writing ... (4) In section 28A(3) (a) (arrest without warrant) ... ...
  • The Public Contracts Regulations 2015
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2015
    ... ... notice” means the notice referred to in regulation 79(1) ;“contract notice” means the notice referred to in regulation 49 or, where ... (8) Oral communication may be used in respect of communications other than those ... ...
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Proprietary Estoppel, Constructive Trusts and Section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989
    • No. 63-6, November 2000
    • The Modern Law Review
    ... ... The judge identified a representation (in the shape of the oral agreement and continued acquiescence by Alan and Brownie Gotts) and ... proprietary estoppel was established but contended that the oral contract found by the judge failed to comply with the formalities of section 2. The ... ...
  • The Conversion of Guarantee Contracts
    • No. 29-5, September 1966
    • The Modern Law Review
    ... ... Denman: The first relates to thc shape of the contract. 1 6th od., pp. u)4-!?QB. 2 Ibid. p. u)4. M itelice ... 8 ... him very much more good than the ability to escape an oral guarantee. There seems to be nothing in principle to ... ...
  • Statutes and Reports of Committees
    • No. 17-5, September 1954
    • The Modern Law Review
    ... ... , 1954 THE Statute of Frauds is dead; long live the contract of guarantee. It is in t.&s traditional form of ... and dangers surely affect almost every kind of oral contract, including oral contracts of indemnity.* If judges ... ...
  • CHANGING A BARGAIN BY CONFIRMING IT
    • No. 33-5, September 1970
    • The Modern Law Review
    ... ... held that the conditions of sale formed part of the contract since both parties were deemed to have contracted on that baska ... It is obviously convenient to have a written record of an oral agreement, and this explains their widespread use in ... ...
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Law Firm Commentaries
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Forms
  • Shortened PF52 in the Queen's Bench Division for multi-track case and costs management directions in Mesothelioma and Asbestosis claims
    • HM Courts & Tribunals Service court and tribunal forms
    King's Bench forms for use in cases such as personal injury, negligence and breach of contract.
    ... ... party shall serve on every other party any witness statement of the oral evidence upon which the party serving the statement intends to rely in ... ...
  • Apply for 'bolt-on' payments and advocate's bundle payments
    • HM Courts & Tribunals Service court and tribunal forms
    Court Costs form EX80A to issue a legal aid assessment certificate.
    ... ... the 2013 Standard Civil Contract ... Representation of a client who is facing allegations ... that they ... hearing or has attended but his/her oral evidence is not ... required and the advocate has already prepared for the ... ...
  • Order in the Queen's Bench Division for case and costs management directions in the multi-track (Part 29)
    • HM Courts & Tribunals Service court and tribunal forms
    King's Bench forms for use in cases such as personal injury, negligence and breach of contract.
    ... ... party to call the experts set forth in paragraph 11 above to give oral evidence at trial limited to the areas upon which they remain in ... ...
  • Form TFA2
    • HM Courts & Tribunals Service court and tribunal forms
    Forms relating to the Residential Property First-tier Tribunal.
    ... ... of the prohibited payment/holding deposit/amount paid under a contract" ... \t\t\t\t\t\t\t (b)    The decision to impose the penalty ... \t\t\t\t\t\t\t (c) \xC2" ... and documents and without the need for parties to attend and make oral representations. (‘A paper determination’) ... Please let us ... ...
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