Q&As

When can a mistake in an executed deed be rectified by a manuscript amendment rather than by a deed of rectification?

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Produced in partnership with Emma Holland of Stewarts Law
Published on LexisPSL on 02/05/2019

The following Private Client Q&A produced in partnership with Emma Holland of Stewarts Law provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • When can a mistake in an executed deed be rectified by a manuscript amendment rather than by a deed of rectification?

When can a mistake in an executed deed be rectified by a manuscript amendment rather than by a deed of rectification?

This Q&A explains when it is possible to remedy a mistake made in an executed deed by manuscript amendment and the surrounding issues of which to be aware.

Broadly, a manuscript amendment may be possible, depending on the nature of the mistake.

A material amendment will be void as against any party who has not consented to it (Winchcombe v Pigot (1614) 11 Co Rep 266 (not reported on LexisNexis®)). Conversely, if an amendment is immaterial, it may be capable of being made without the consent of the other parties and would not invalidate the agreement unless it prejudices a party's rights or obligations. Filling in a blank date, for example, has been found to be immaterial (Keane v Smallbone) and steps to correct minor typographical errors (such as incorrect company registration numbers) and to amend clause numbering that has gone awry are unlikely to prejudice either party. A careful approach is however advised as to this very fact-specific question of whether or not an amendment is material or immaterial. See Commentary: Immaterial alteration: Halsbury's Laws of England [287].

If it is decided that a deed of rectification is required, it is worth noting

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