Commentary

46.4 ‘Best endeavours’ versus ‘reasonable endeavours’

BOILERPLATE AND COMMERCIAL CLAUSES vol 4(3)

46.4 ‘Best endeavours’ versus ‘reasonable endeavours’

46.4 ‘Best endeavours’ versus ‘reasonable endeavours’

It is a common understanding among most English commercial lawyers that an undertaking to use reasonable endeavours is less onerous than an undertaking to use best endeavours. There is relatively little case law, however, to support this understanding1 although the courts do recognise that the two do not mean the same thing2. Even if there is a difference in the level of obligation associated with each term, it is difficult in practice to describe what actions would be regarded as meeting each level of obligation.

In a case on ‘reasonable endeavours’3, an obligation to use

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