Unfair Contract Terms in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Director General of Fair Trading v First National Bank Plc
    • House of Lords
    • 25 Out 2001

    Openness requires that the terms should be expressed fully, clearly and legibly, containing no concealed pitfalls or traps. Fair dealing requires that a supplier should not, whether deliberately or unconsciously, take advantage of the consumer's necessity, indigence, lack of experience, unfamiliarity with the subject matter of the contract, weak bargaining position or any other factor listed in or analogous to those listed in Schedule 2 of the regulations.

    It is obviously useful to assess the impact of an impugned term on the parties' rights and obligations by comparing the effect of the contract with the term and the effect it would have without it.

  • George Mitchell (Chesterhall) Ltd v Finney Lock Seeds Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 30 Jun 1983

    It must follow, in my view, that, when asked to review such a decision on appeal, the appellate court should treat the original decision with the utmost respect and refrain from interference with it unless satisfied that it proceeded upon some erroneous principle or was plainly and obviously wrong.

  • Hadley Design Associates Ltd v The Lord Mayor and Citizens of the City of Westminster
    • Queen's Bench Division (Technology and Construction Court)
    • 09 Jul 2003

    Something more is needed, and on principle that something more, in my judgment, is that the relevant terms should exist in written form prior to the possibility of the making of the relevant agreement arising, thus being "written ", and they should be intended to be adopted more or less automatically in all transactions of a particular type without any significant opportunity for negotiation, thus being "standard".

  • Photo Production Ltd v Securicor Transport Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 14 Fev 1980

    After this Act, in commercial matters generally, when the parties are not of unequal bargaining power, and when risks are normally borne by insurance, not only is the case for judicial intervention undemonstrated, but there is everything to be said, and this seems to have been Parliament's intention, for leaving the parties free to apportion the risks as they think fit and for respecting their decisions.

  • Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd (a Company Incorporated in Hong Kong) and Another v Independent Power Tanzania Ltd (a Company Incorporated in Tanzania) and Others
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 16 Nov 2016

    In Thomas Witter Limited v TBP Industries [1996] 2 All ER 573 at 598, Jacob J considered that, for the purposes of the Misrepresentation Act 1967 and the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, it would inevitably be unreasonable The carve-out reflects the commercial common sense that a contracting party may be prepared to assume the risk of negligence by his counterparty, but not the risk of fraud.

  • Granville Oil & Chemicals Ltd v Davis Turner & Company Ltd
    • Court of Appeal
    • 15 Abr 2003

    The 1977 Act obviously plays a very important role in protecting vulnerable consumers from the effects of draconian contract terms. But I am less enthusiastic about its intrusion into contracts between commercial parties of equal bargaining strength, who should generally be considered capable of being able to make contracts of their choosing and expect to be bound by their terms.

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