Verbal Contract in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Chartbrook Ltd v Persimmon Homes Ltd and another
    • House of Lords
    • 01 Jul 2009

    There is no dispute that the principles on which a contract (or any other instrument or utterance) should be interpreted are those summarised by the House of Lords in Investors Compensation Scheme Ltd v West Bromwich Building Society [1998] 1 WLR 896, 912-913. It is agreed that the question is what a reasonable person having all the background knowledge which would have been available to the parties would have understood them to be using the language in the contract to mean.

    What is clear from these cases is that there is not, so to speak, a limit to the amount of red ink or verbal rearrangement or correction which the court is allowed. All that is required is that it should be clear that something has gone wrong with the language and that it should be clear what a reasonable person would have understood the parties to have meant. In my opinion, both of these requirements are satisfied.

  • McCutcheon v David Macbrayne Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 21 Ene 1964

    If a term is not expressed in a contract, there is only one other way in which it can come into it and that is by implication. If previous dealings show that a man knew of and agreed to a term on ninety-nine occasions, there is a basis for saying that it can be imported into the hundredth contract without an express statement. It may or may not be sufficient to justify the importation,—that depends on the circumstances; but at least by proving knowledge the essential beginning is made.

  • Tiverton Estates Ltd v Wearwell Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 20 Nov 1973

    Apart from authority I would have thought that a memorandum signed by the party to be charged stating terms which the other party asserted w-re the terms of an oral agreement would not, in the absence of something in the memorandum at least pointing to the existence of a contract made upon the stated terms, satisfy the requirements of the section. It would not be a note or memorandum of the contract sued upon but merely of the terms which the party charged is alleged to have agreed.

  • Circle Freight International Ltd (trading as Mogul Air) v Medeast Gulf Exports Ltd (trading as Gulf Export)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 21 Abr 1988

    In these circumstances, despite Mr. Gompertz's clear and succinct argument to the contrary, I consider that reasonable notice of the terms was given by the plaintiffs. In those circumstances it is irrelevant that in fact Mr. Zacaria did not read the notices.

  • Scammell (G.) & Nephew Ltd v Ouston (H. C. & J. G.)
    • House of Lords
    • 16 Dic 1940

    The object of the Court is to do justice between the parties, and the Court will do its best, if satisfied that there was an ascertainable and determinate intention to contract, to give effect to that intention, looking at substance and not mere form. It will not be deterred by mere difficulties of interpretation. Difficulty is not synonymous with ambiguity so long as any definite meaning can be extracted.

  • Henry Kendall & Sons (A Firm) v William Lillico & Sons Ltd and Others
    • House of Lords
    • 08 May 1968

    The trial judge held that these printed conditions did not apply to this oral sale of meal. In so doing he relied on a dictum of Lord Devlin in McCutcheon's case [1964] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 16. The ordinary course of business was therefore no help to the carrier, since the transaction did not follow the ordinary course. And in that case the plaintiff's agent, acting in good faith, was unaware that the carrier was intending to import written conditions.

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  • Bankrupts Act 1731
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1731
    ......, and by their extravagant  Manner of living and otherwise, contracted great Debts, and having gotten such Goods and Effects into their Custody, ... them, and also to take down or reduce into Writing the Answers of Verbal Examinations of every such Bankrupt or other Person, had or taken before ......
  • Coal Trade, London Act 1745
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1745
    ......S-VII .   . VII. And be it further enacted, That all Contracts and Agreements to be made at any Time, from and after the said ...of Pool Measure may be omitted in any written or verbal Contract or Agreement for that Purpose. S-VIII . Pool Measure, &c. to be ......
  • The Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2013
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2013
    ...... (b) an annuity contract, trust scheme or substituted contract which is treated as having become a ... 6 . 0 . . . . . 7. Understanding communication by: . (i) verbal means (such as hearing or lip reading) alone; . (ii) non-verbal means ......
  • Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016
    • Scotland
    • 1 de Enero de 2016
    ...... provided as soon as reasonably practicable with such information (verbally or in writing) as is necessary to satisfy the requirements of Articles 3 ... or allow the person discharging the function to enter into a contract with another person,. . . (b) require the person discharging the ......
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Books & Journal Articles
  • The Policy-Slip (Dis)connect
    • Núm. 1-2, Julio 2011
    • Southampton Student Law Review
    • Karishma A. Galliara
    • 59-64
    ......It is trite law that a slip, once scratched, concludes the contract of insurance between the assured and the insurer.2It is also common ...While it [the slip] undoubtedly reflects a concluded verbal contract of marine insurance made between the company as insurers ......
  • Evaluating the Illegal Employer Practice of Under‐Reporting Employees’ Salaries
    • Núm. 55-1, Marzo 2017
    • British Journal of Industrial Relations
    This article advances understanding of the prevalence and distribution of the illegal employer practice of under‐reporting employees’ salaries, explains this practice and evaluates policy approache...
    ...... ar e tackled, such as the use of undeclared labour and sub-contractingto the ‘bogus self-employed’, the result will be a diminution of state ... a formal written contract, the employer at the same time reaches a verbal" unwritten agreement with the employee to payan additional ‘envelope wage\xE2"......
    • Núm. 3-1, Junio 1939
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... OF CASES 61 NOTES OF CASES Private International Law : Contracts English Private International Law has entered what future ... code and in that case it is just as if they had verbally copied the provisions in their agreement. This does not mean ......
    • Núm. 9-2, Julio 1946
    • The Modern Law Review
    Book reviewed in this article: Why Crime? Some Causes and Remedies from the Psychological Standpoint. By Claud Mullins. (London: Methuen. 1946. ix, 180 pp. 6s. net.) Salmond's Law of Torts. Tenth e...
    ...... W. H. D. WINDER. PrtrNcIpms OF THE LAW OF CONTRACTS. By the late SIR JOHN SALYOND and PROFESSOR JAMES WILLIAMS. ..., like Pollock, a great master of it, and a mere verbal reproduction of his views, in a new edition, would have ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • English Contract Law: Your Word May Still be Your Bond
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    American movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn is widely quoted as having said, ‘A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.’ He is also reputed to have stated, ‘I’m willing to admit that I may n...
    .... American movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn is widely quoted as having said, ‘A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.’ He is also reputed to have stated, ‘I’m willing to admit that I may not always be right, ......
  • English Contract Law and Oral Contracts - Your Word May Still Be Your Bond
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    Verbal contracts have their place in English law - Whether it was American movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn or the Australian/Irish politician Bryan O’Loghlen who first said, ‘A ve... . Verbal contracts have their place in . English law. Whether it was American movie . mogul Samuel Goldwyn or the . Australian/Irish politician Bryan . ......
  • Casual Worker Able To Establish Mutuality Of Obligation
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...... that once he had accepted an assignment, it was considered to be a "verbal contract" which he had to complete within a certain deadline. In 2010, ......
  • Clarify Your Requirements To Avoid Turbulence
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...Any contract for the sale of land or for the grant of a lease for more than a year ... not, one party still cannot withdraw if the other has relied on the verbal contract and would be affected to a material extent. . The case ......
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