Legal News

When is a contract sufficiently complete to be binding? (Wells v Devani)

Published on: 16 November 2016
Published by: LexisPSL
  • When is a contract sufficiently complete to be binding? (Wells v Devani)
  • Original news
  • What are the practical implications of this case?
  • How did the contract formation issue arise in this case?
  • Implying terms to find a binding agreement—the cart before the horse
  • Implying terms or a matter of interpretation?
  • Just how complete does the agreement need to be to bind the parties?
  • Lady Justice Arden's dissenting judgment
  • Case details

Article summary

Dispute Resolution analysis: In a majority decision the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal against a finding that a contract with an estate agent had been sufficiently complete so as to be binding. Although the oral discussion had included the agent identifying his rate of commission there had been no discussion as to the ‘trigger’ for the right to commission to arise. This could not be implied. While Arden LJ agreed on the point of implication, she considered that the facts were sufficient to have concluded a binding agreement from which it was entirely acceptable for the court to interpret what the trigger event would be. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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