The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
This Practice Note discusses the common law doctrine of privity of contract; the equitable and statutory exceptions to it; how the doctrine affects enforcing a contract against a third party and what happens when, notwithstanding the lack of privity, a contract has an indirect effect on a third party. For guidance on contracts and third parties more generally and on the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 (C(RTP)A 1999), respectively, see Practice Notes:
Contracts and third party rights
Third party rights—the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999
'Privity of contract' is a common law doctrine, which provides that you cannot either:
enforce the benefit of, or
be liable for any obligation under
a contract to which you are not a party.
Therefore, if your client is not a party to a contract (ie they are a third party) then they cannot sue or be sued under that contract.
A promises to B that they will pay a sum of money to C—C cannot sue A for that sum if A fails to pay.
Beswick v Beswick is considered to be the modern statement of the doctrine. Here, a coal merchant transferred his business to his nephew who promised him that he would, after the uncle's death, pay an annuity to the uncle's widow.
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Judicial review—time limits and the pre-action protocolWhen considering whether and how to bring a claim for judicial review, the first step is to consider whether judicial review is be an appropriate means of addressing the issues raised by the case at hand. For further guidance, see Practice Note:
Sale of treasury sharesA limited company may hold, or deal with, shares in itself, if certain conditions set out in the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006) are met. Those shares are held in treasury and referred to as the company's treasury shares.The treasury shares regime is set out in CA 2006, ss
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Negligence—key elements to establish a negligence claimNegligence—what are the key ingredients to establish a claim in negligence?For liability in negligence to be founded, four key ingredients must be present:•duty of care•breach of that duty•damage (which is caused by the breach)•foreseeability of
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