Contract Law

This title offers a high level analysis of the law relating to the termination of contracts. It offers new and authoritative insights into how to proceed when contracts are beached or break down.

  • Presents a high level analysis of the law relating to termination of contracts supported by citation of leading cases
  • Focuses on the issues of performance and breach of a contract and how to respond
  • Offers new and authoritative insights into how to proceed when contracts are breached or for other reasons of non-performance
  • Presents a fresh and up-to-date view of termination based on recent tendencies in the Courts
  • Includes the application of termination in the context of categories required by the 1977 Unfair Contract Terms Act, so you can be confident you have the latest legislation to hand
  • Includes relevant statutes such as the Misrepresentation Act 1967, standard contract clauses and Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations
  • Discusses the traditional principles behind ‘breach’ and ‘frustration’
  • Offers possible arguments and ideas that cross conceptual boundaries from established authors with experience in this field of law

This book provides an account of the law relating to the various issues involved in forming and varying contracts, as understood in Contract law. This includes pre-contractual negotiations, offer & acceptance, formalities, consideration and promissory estoppel.

  • Drawing together in single volume key rules relating to the formation and variation of contracts, focusing on the rules for their existence and validity
  • Covers topics which are of fundamental importance to practitioners but on which there is no up-to-date specialist work
  • Highlights areas of contract law where there is likely to be significant argument about possible development in the coming years
  • Provides a perspective on the rules for the formation of contracts from an international and comparative dimension
  • Traces the continuing development of the rules, as a response to changes within the English law of contract and to learn from  developments being made in other legal systems
  • Includes discussion throughout the book of difficult issues relating to contract formation as they arise in practice
  • All of Part I is devoted to pre-contractual negotiations (including remedies where negotiations fail to reach agreement) and finding the agreement through offer and acceptance
  • All of Part II is devoted to formalities, both in general and in contract in particular, including contracts for the sale of land, consumer contracts, contracts of guarantee and deeds
  • All of Part III is devoted to the requirement of consideration (which gives contract its character as a ‘bargain’ in the common law ), both in the formation of a contract, and in the variation of an existing contract
  • All of Part IV is devoted to promissory estoppel, both its traditional role in the modification of a contract and its potential to develop in English law (noting how other common law jurisdictions such as the US and Australia have developed it)

A part of the Contract Law Library, Duress, Undue Influence and Unconscionable Dealing provides an account of the law relating to these areas. Duress undue, influence and unconscionable dealing are grounds on which a contract could be avoided by one of the parties because his/her consent was obtained by some form of pressure which the law considers unacceptable.
Duress deals with circumstances where the complainant’s consent was obtained by the use of illegitimate pressure, such as a threat of physical violence or economic pressure.
Undue influence deals with cases where one person has acquired influence over another and that influence is exercised in an unacceptable manner to procure the consent of the other person to enter into a contract.
Unconscionable dealing is concerned with cases where one party is suffering from some special disability, such as poverty, ignorance, illness, necessity, intoxication, (the weaker party) and the other party (the stronger party) makes an unconscientious use of his position of power to impose terms which are unfair to the weaker party. The stronger party may be guilty of unconscionable dealing even though he has not exercised any form of pressure on the weaker party.


  • Provides comprehensive information on all aspects of duress, undue influence and unconscionable dealing
  • Helps you deal with problems arising from disputes
  • Gives a detailed explanation of the general principles
  • Explains the remedies and defences available
  • Examines the different types of duress including duress to the person, duress of goods, economic duress and duress colore officii
  • Covers recent developments and case law relating to undue influence, including relevant House of
  • Lords and Court of Appeal decisions and commonwealth cases
  • Gives examples of how duress, undue influence and unconscionable dealing cases work in practice
  • Takes you through the detailed steps that should be taken by a bank where there is a risk of third party undue influence

The latest edition of Duress, Undue Influence and Unconscionable Dealing contains at least 50 new English cases and another 47 new Commonwealth cases.
Included among these are important Privy Council decisions such as Borelli v Ting (2010), and Court of Appeal decisions such as:

Padden v Bevan Asford Solicitors (2011) (solicitor’s duty in advising a wife who intends to confer a substantial benefit on her husband)

Royal Bank of Scotland v Chandra (2011) (whether over optimism and exaggeration amounts to undue influence by breach of obligation of candour and fairness)

Gill v Woodall (2011) (undue influence affecting a will)

Annulment Funding Co Ltd v Cowey (2010) (breach of obligation of candour and fairness by unwitting misrepresentation)

Richards v The Law Society (Solicitors Regulation Society) (2009) (abuse of confidence in a transaction between a solicitor and his client)

Abbey National Bank v. Stringer (2006) (legal charge was unenforceable against a mother because it was obtained by the undue influence of her son)

There are also important High Court decisions such as:

Davies v AIB Group (UK) Plc (2012) (whether a husband’s undue influence against his wife entitles her to set aside, as against the lender, a personal loan granted to her and her husband jointly)

Progress Bulk Carriers v Tube City IMS LLC (2012) (economic duress following a breach of contract)

Mahon v FBN Bank (UK) Ltd (2011) (where a lender fails to take prescribed steps before taking security from a surety wife)

Kolmar Group AG v Traxpo Enterprises (2010) (economic duress)

Opel v. Mitras Automative (UK) Ltd (2007), economic duress exercised on an automobile manufacturer by a supplier

This work examines in a straightforward and practical manner this integral area of contract law. It also provides guidance for the Practitioner on drafting and using exclusion clauses effectively within the formative phase of a contract.

  • Offers key commentary on the means and method of successfully challenging an exclusion clause when seeking to disentangle a client form an agreement which may have proven onerous post the agreement coming into force and for which they are seeking a remedy
  • Takes into account changes affecting unfair terms proposed in the Consumer Rights Bill, examining what notices and contracts are covered, the fairness of contract terms and notices and how the rules will be enforced
  • Key cases e.g. OFT v Lloyds Bank. Also OFT v Abbey National PLC which examines the concept of a ‘core provision’ within an exclusion clause
  • Examines and puts in context how the law impacts both when drafting an exclusion clause and challenging an exclusion clause
  • Shows how the law controls the use of exclusion clauses
  • Demonstrates how the courts have considered and interpreted exclusion

clauses, and what controls Parliament has introduced

  • Looks in detail at the Unfair Contract Terms Act of 1977, and its ongoing interpretation in the courts up to the present day
  • Discusses the implications of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts regulations (UTCCR)
  • Looks at questionable clauses whether unlawful, void or ineffective, the method of their incorporation into a contract, and the means of their interpretation
  • Analyses the Fairness test and how this has developed in recent cases
  • Features sample clauses to help you when drafting contracts
  • Shows just how those negotiating contracts can ensure that the contract is made on their terms and conditions
  • Provides valuable guidance on how to draft exclusion clauses which can withstand challenge and how best to argue that a clause is invalid
  • Sets out which exclusion clauses are automatically null and void
  • Details all the major precedents (many of them unreported elsewhere) on the fairness and reasonableness of disputed terms
  • Explains the key concept of a “core provision”
  • Practitioners use it for research and reference when drafting exclusion clauses, and when seeking more understanding of this area in general terms
  • Offers practical advice on the drafting process of both commercial and consumer contracts
  • Looks at exclusion clauses in practical day to day contexts for the contract law practitioner
  • Highlights the potential weaknesses in an Exclusion clause
  • Gives easy to understand advice to consumer advisers and trade bodies


The most comprehensive and authoritative book on the Scots Law of Contract, thoroughly updated to take into account all developments since 2001. The author also revisited all earlier material to ensure that the book is as succinct and accessible as possible.

The Interpretation of Contracts offers expert guidance in preparing, advising on and disputing agreements. This work focuses on the core elements of contract law, and the interpretation of contracts in relation to the five core principles of a contract as defined by Lord Hoffman.


  • This book provides explanation and guidance on the key principles that the court uses when interpreting contracts, through the lens of the five core principles identified by Lord Hoffmann in Investors Compensation Scheme Ltd v West Bromwich Building Society
  • The book goes through each component of a contract, setting out the basic proposition, followed by analysis and the most relevant judicial decisions for practitioners.
  • Explains how the meaning of a contract can be ascertained.
  • Identifies the materials available to aid in the interpretation of contracts, analysing each: the contract document, related documents, drafts, previous agreements, pre-contract agreements and negotiations, and contractual terms.
  • Gives background on the impact of law and precedent on interpretation, including the court’s approaches to standard forms such as conveyancing agreements.
  • Lays out the golden rule as regards the meaning of words, and its operation in practice through key decisions.
  • Covers the circumstances in which terms can be implied and fulfilled, including important developments following the Belize Telecom case, and the extent to which entire agreement clauses preclude the implication of terms.
  • Looks at the rules of construction, including the consideration of a clause in the context of a whole document, the addition of special conditions to a standard form of contract and the relationship of general and special provisions.
  • Explains the meaning and operation of patent and latent ambiguity and their effects on the contract, as well as uncertainty, mistake and inconsistencies.
  • Explores the impact of Rainy Sky SA v Kookmin Bank and subsequent cases regarding ambiguity and ‘business common sense’.
  • Considers the preliminary parts of a deed (everything preceding the habendum), analysing in-depth the effect of recitals.
  • Reviews the subject matter of a contract, such as the inclusion or otherwise of a parcel or land, admissible evidence to identify the subject matter, evidence of physical features and plans.
  • Covers exclusion clauses, including indemnity, time-bar and non-reliance clauses, and the exclusion of rights and remedies; and force majeure clauses.
  • Considers the inclusion of certificates, consents and deeming clauses
  • Analyses issues of time stipulation and punctuality, in contracts such as mercantile and conditional contracts.
  • Explains conditions and conditional contracts, including the impact of Jet2 v Blackpool Airport on best endeavours obligations.
  • Discusses in detail clauses relating to penalties, termination and forfeiture.
  • Assesses the dispute resolution options in the context of contract interpretation, including choice of law and scope of jurisdiction clauses.


  • The book takes in more than 200 new cases since the 5th edition, including key decisions like Jet2 v Blackpool Airport, Belize Telecom and RainySky
  • Updates the reader on key developments regarding cutting-edge issues like misnomer, contractual discretions, the effect on interpretation of the Human Rights Act, the curing of ambiguity by election of one party, and more.

The third edition of Frustration and Force Majeure provides a thorough examination of the principles governing the conflict between the sanctity of contract and the discharge of contractual obligations in response to supervening events. The author guides the reader through a list of supervening events which may be encountered in any commercial transaction, setting out the statutory principles involved, together with judicial interpretations from a number of common law jurisdictions.

The new 3rd edition:

  • Discusses some 70 new cases decided in England and in other common law jurisdictions in four continents
  • Examines the impact on the law relating to frustration of recent  cases arising out of the seizure of ships by Somali pirates demanding ransom
  • Discusses the relation, in cases of an employee’s supervening disability, between common law frustration and the employer’s  duty (under Equality Act 2010) to make reasonable adjustments
  • Contrasts the judicial trend to restrict the scope of frustration of contracts with the effect of supervening events on non-contractual promises which have some legal force by virtue of estoppel or analogous doctrines
  • Examines cases (such as the Classic Maritime case (2010). the Tandrin Aviation case (2010) and the Gold Group case (2010) which consider whether the financial crisis of 2008 and after could be a ground of frustration or be covered by a force majeure clause
  • Discusses some of the provisions Draft Common European Sales Law, in particular Articles 88 and 89
  • Makes many references to The Sea Angel (2007)’  a case on temporary impossibility but also a source of many new ideas on the doctrine of frustration: e.g., that a “reality check” should be applied in deciding whether supervening events should lead to discharge
  • Discusses the re-examination in the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (2010) of the principles governing alleged frustration by partial illegality
  • Re-examines “theories” of frustration in the light of recent judicial opinions

Frustration and Force Majeure:

  • Provides a thorough examination of the principles governing the sanctity of a contract
  • Examines the conflict between contractual obligations and the ability to discharge said obligations in response to supervening events
  • Discusses in detail the development of the doctrine of Frustration within the law of contract
  • Contains a comparative element to the narrative which looks at the various foreign systems for rules, concepts and examples with which an evaluation of the English rules can be made
  • Contains an examination of the concept of impossibility distinguishing between various types  of impossibility and between impossibility and impracticability
  • Covers illegality including supervening prohibitions, interference with performance and qualified prohibition, all of which are discussed in detail
  • Deals clearly with the purpose, nature and construction of Force Majeure clauses
  • Discusses legal consequences of frustration  at common law, as modified by legislation

Benjamin’s Sale of Goods provides practitioners with comprehensive advice on case law and legislation regarding sale of goods in the UK and globally. Part of the Common Law Library, this title has established itself as the premier publication on sale of goods and is frequently cited in court due to its depth and coverage.

  • First published in 1868, this title is now seen as a must-have purchase for its core readership of commercial practitioners in medium and large-firms, academics and commercial barristers
  • Covers the needs of practitioners interested in all areas of sale of goods case law
  • Includes clearly defined and structured content, with separate sections for Nature and formation of the Contract of Sale, Property and risk, Performance of the contract, Defective goods, Consumer Protection, Remedies, Overseas Sales, Conflict of laws
  • Provides high level text supported by all relevant developments in legislation and case law – the cases selected and the interpretation and guidance provided being one of the title’s added values
  • Provides a comprehensive explanation of the law of sale of goods, including terms and conditions, rights and obligations
  • Sets out the nature and formation of the contract of sale
  • Includes discussion of unfair contract terms in commercial and consumer sales
  • Details the remedies available when disputes arise
  • Explains the implications of E-Commerce, including electronic contracts and payments
  • Examines the law on Letters of Credit
  • Incorporates the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002, and recent European Directives
  • Includes expert commentary on the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999
  • Outlines the implications of the Consumer Credit Act and gives a detailed account of consumer protection
  • Provides authoritative discussion on conflict of laws
  • Examines the international scope of the subject, with chapters on overseas sales
  • Takes you through the laws relating to consumer protection


Chitty is a comprehensive guide to all aspects of common law contract law, written by acknowledged experts in each of the fields covered by the work.

It is intended as a first port of call for research by both solicitors in drafting contracts, and for barristers in preparing cases based around contractual disputes, across the whole range of contract law. Its content is often sufficient as such and practitioners need look no further, but its coverage can be supplemented by further research in works that treat specific aspects of contract law more fully.

The work is in two volumes. Volume One covers the general principles of contract law, whilst Volume Two offers guidance on contractual issues in specific industry sectors.

  • Provides coverage of all relevant legislation and a huge depth of case reference
  • Presents complete coverage of the law of contract, incorporating extensive reference to relevant legislation and recent case law
  • Contains interpretation and analysis of general legislation since the last edition
  • Provides an in-depth examination of actions arising in contract law, including exclusion clauses, estoppel, illegality and public policy, mistake, misrepresentation and non-disclosure, breach of performance
  • Deals individually with contracts in the following areas of law: agency, arbitration, bailment, bills of exchange and banking, building contracts, carriage by air, carriage by land, construction, credit and security, employment, gaming and wagering, insurance, restrictive agreements and covenants, sale of goods and suretyship
  • Offers interpretation and advice on the law when disputes arise, or when technical areas need clarification, and when responsibilities, obligations and entitlements need to be established
  • Supplemented regularly
  • Used widely as the source of information on contract law