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Chapter

Cover Commercial Law

8. Relations between agent and third party  

This chapter considers the relations between the agent and third party. The typical function of an agent is to affect the legal position of his principal in relation to third parties, typically achieved by the agent effecting contractual relations between his principal and a third party or third parties. To this contract, the agent is usually a stranger and it therefore follows that, providing all parties perform their obligations, there will be no legal relations between the agent and third party, aside from any warranty of authority that might be deemed to exist. If the parties, however, fail to properly perform their obligations, legal relations between the agent and third party may arise that allow one party to sue, or be sued by, the other. This chapter discusses the general rule, and also those situations where the agent and third party will acquire a cause of action against the other.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

7. Privity of contract and third party rights  

Robert Merkin and Séverine Saintier

Poole’s Casebook on Contract Law provides a comprehensive selection of case law that addresses all aspects of the subject encountered on undergraduate courses. This chapter examines privity of contract, its relationship with consideration, and the ability of third parties to enforce contractual provisions for their benefit. The doctrine of privity of contract provides that the benefits of a contract can be enjoyed only by the parties to that contract and only parties can suffer the burdens of the contract. At common law, third party beneficiaries could not enforce a contractual provision in their favour so various devices were employed seeking to avoid privity. Statute now allows for direct third party enforcement but in limited circumstances. This chapter examines the background to privity and the attempted statutory reform in the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 as it has been interpreted in the case law. The chapter also discusses the common law means of avoiding privity as illustrated by the case law, e.g. agency, collateral contracts, and trusts of contractual obligations. Finally, it assesses the remedies available to the contracting party to recover on behalf of the third party beneficiary of the promise, including the narrow and broad grounds in Linden Gardens Trust. It concludes by briefly considering privity and burdens—and the exceptional situations where a burden can be imposed on a person who is not a party to the contract.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

7. Privity of contract and third party rights  

Robert Merkin KC, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Poole’s Casebook on Contract Law provides a comprehensive selection of case law that addresses all aspects of the subject encountered on undergraduate courses. This chapter examines privity of contract, its relationship with consideration, and the ability of third parties to enforce contractual provisions for their benefit. The doctrine of privity of contract provides that the benefits of a contract can be enjoyed only by the parties to that contract and only parties can suffer the burdens of the contract. At common law, third party beneficiaries could not enforce a contractual provision in their favour, so various devices were employed seeking to avoid privity. Statute now allows for direct third party enforcement, but in limited circumstances. This chapter examines the background to privity and the attempted statutory reform in the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 as it has been interpreted in the case law. The chapter also discusses the common law means of avoiding privity as illustrated by the case law, e.g. agency, collateral contracts, and trusts of contractual obligations. Finally, it assesses the remedies available to the contracting party to recover on behalf of the third party beneficiary of the promise, including the narrow and broad grounds in Linden Gardens Trust. It concludes by briefly considering privity and burdens—and the exceptional situations where a burden can be imposed on a person who is not a party to the contract.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

5. Content of the contract and principles of interpretation  

Robert Merkin and Séverine Saintier

Poole’s Casebook on Contract Law provides a comprehensive selection of case law that addresses all aspects of the subject encountered on undergraduate courses. This chapter examines what the parties to a contract have undertaken to do; that is, the terms of the contract, and the principles determining how the courts interpret the meaning of those contractual terms. It considers whether pre-contractual statements are terms or mere representations. The chapter then turns to written contracts, focusing on the parol evidence rule, entire agreement clauses, and the effect of signature on the contractual document. It also discusses oral contracts and incorporation of written terms in such contracts by means of signature, reasonable notice, consistent course of dealing, and common knowledge of the parties. In addition to express terms, this chapter looks at how terms are implied, particularly terms implied by the courts—terms implied in law and terms implied in fact. There is discussion of the typical implied terms in sale and supply contracts in the B2B and B2C context. Finally, this chapter focuses on the principles governing the interpretation of contractual terms.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

5. Content of the contract and principles of interpretation  

Robert Merkin KC, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Poole’s Casebook on Contract Law provides a comprehensive selection of case law that addresses all aspects of the subject encountered on undergraduate courses. This chapter examines what the parties to a contract have undertaken to do; that is, the terms of the contract, and the principles determining how the courts interpret the meaning of those contractual terms. It considers whether pre-contractual statements are terms or mere representations. The chapter then turns to written contracts, focusing on the parol evidence rule, entire agreement clauses, and the effect of signature on the contractual document. It also discusses oral contracts and incorporation of written terms in such contracts by means of signature, reasonable notice, consistent course of dealing, and common knowledge of the parties. In addition to express terms, this chapter looks at how terms are implied, particularly terms implied by the courts—terms implied in law and terms implied in fact. There is discussion of the typical implied terms in sale and supply contracts in the B2B and B2C context. Finally, this chapter focuses on the principles governing the interpretation of contractual terms.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Directions

5. Positive terms  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. The terms of the contract give substance to the contractual parties’ obligations. They lay down what each party is expected to do in performance of his obligations, and so it is crucial in any dispute to first establish the terms of the contract before looking to see whether one party has failed to perform his obligations. This chapter focuses on the positive terms of the contract. The discussions cover terms and representations; collateral warranties; implied terms; and conditions, warranties and innominate terms and the significance of the remedies, including termination, attached to each.

Chapter

Cover Anson's Law of Contract

5. The Terms of the Contract  

Jack Beatson, Andrew Burrows, and John Cartwright

This chapter discusses the nature and import of contractual terms and the form which they may take. First, it distinguishes the terms of a contract from representations, which are statements made by one party to the other that are not intended to be an integral part of the agreement. Similarly, collateral warranties, which are preliminary assurances that are contractually binding, but not as part of the principal agreement, are distinguished from representations which are not contractually binding. Second, the importance of different types of terms is examined by reference to the distinction between conditions, warranties, and innominate terms. Third, the implication of terms into contracts is explored. Finally, the chapter considers the interpretation or construction of terms.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Directions

5. Positive terms  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. The terms of the contract give substance to the contractual parties’ obligations. They lay down what each party is expected to do in performance of his obligations, and so it is crucial in any dispute to first establish the terms of the contract before looking to see whether one party has failed to perform his obligations. This chapter focuses on the positive terms of the contract. The discussions cover terms and representations; collateral warranties; implied terms; and conditions, warranties and innominate terms and the significance of the remedies, including termination, attached to each.

Chapter

Cover Selwyn's Law of Employment

16. Wrongful Dismissal  

Under the law which existed prior to 1971, an employer was entitled to dismiss an employee for any reason or no reason at all. In 1971 the Industrial Relations Act created the right for many employees not to be unfairly dismissed, and though that Act was repealed, the relevant provisions were substantially re-enacted in the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974, and further changes were made by the Employment Protection Act 1975. The Employment Rights Act 1996 (as amended) contains most of the relevant statutory provisions currently in force. This chapter discusses the ways in which wrongful dismissal may occur, collateral contracts, summary dismissal, and employment law remedies.

Chapter

Cover Card & James' Business Law

7. The terms of the contract  

This chapter focuses on the actual content or terms of a contract. It discusses the two main classifications of contractual terms, namely express and implied terms, and considers the courts’ approach in the determining when terms should be implied into a contract. It explains that express terms are those specifically agreed upon by the parties while implied terms are those that may be implied by the court, statute, or custom. This chapter also explains how some implied terms can be excluded via an express provision and discusses the parol evidence rule, collateral contract, and entire agreement clause. The chapter concludes by looking at the principles established by the courts when interpreting contractual provisions.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Concentrate

4. Privity and third party rights  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses the doctrine of privity and third party rights. The doctrine of privity of contract provides that a person who is not a party to a contract (called a ‘third party’), cannot acquire rights under or enforce the provisions of that contract or rely on its protections even if the provisions were intended to benefit that third party. At common law there are complex, and sometimes artificial, ways to avoid this conclusion. More significant nowadays is the attempt to reform this principle by legislation in the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999, allowing some third party beneficiaries to enforce the provisions of contracts.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

5. Content of the contract and principles of interpretation  

Robert Merkin, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Course-focused and comprehensive, Poole’s Textbook on Contract Law provides an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This chapter explores how the terms of the parties’ agreement (that is, the contractual promise to be performed) are identified and how the courts interpret the meaning of those terms. It considers the status of statements made prior to the conclusion of the contract (as terms or representations) and why this matters. The parol evidence rule applies where the contract is written and provides that the writing represents the entire contract. This definition is flawed, however, because it allows the rule to be sidestepped by defining the contract as partly written and partly oral. Alternatively, an oral term can take effect as a collateral contract, which is separate to any written contract to which the parol evidence rule applies. The effect of the parol evidence rules can be achieved by incorporating an entire agreement clause. This chapter also considers the effect and impact of a no oral modification clause (or NOM). This chapter examines methods of achieving incorporation of terms such as signature, reasonable notice (or a higher standard of notice if the term is onerous or unusual), consistent course of dealing and common knowledge of the parties. In addition to the express terms, there may be terms implied by custom, by courts or by statute. Finally, the chapter considers the principles on which contracts are interpreted including the relevance, or otherwise, of pre-contractual negotiations.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

5. Content of the contract and principles of interpretation  

Robert Merkin KC, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Course-focused and comprehensive, Poole’s Textbook on Contract Law provides an accessible overview of the key areas of the law curriculum. This chapter explores how the terms of the parties’ agreement (that is, the contractual promise to be performed) are identified and how the courts interpret the meaning of those terms. It considers the status of statements made prior to the conclusion of the contract (as terms or representations) and why this matters. The parol evidence rule applies where the contract is written and provides that the writing represents the entire contract. This definition is flawed, however, because it allows the rule to be sidestepped by defining the contract as partly written and partly oral. Alternatively, an oral term can take effect as a collateral contract, which is separate to any written contract to which the parol evidence rule applies. The effect of the parol evidence rules can be achieved by incorporating an entire agreement clause. This chapter also considers the effect and impact of a no oral modification clause (or NOM). This chapter examines methods of achieving incorporation of terms such as signature, reasonable notice (or a higher standard of notice if the term is onerous or unusual), consistent course of dealing and common knowledge of the parties. In addition to the express terms, there may be terms implied by custom, by courts or by statute. Finally, the chapter considers the principles on which contracts are interpreted including the relevance, or otherwise, of pre-contractual negotiations.