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Cover Anson's Law of Contract

9. Misrepresentation and Non-Disclosure  

Jack Beatson, Andrew Burrows, and John Cartwright

This chapter focuses on relief for misrepresentation and for the exceptional cases in which there may be relief for non-disclosure, and considers misrepresentations that have not been incorporated as a term of the contract. In such cases, the misled party will sometimes be entitled to claim tortious damages in respect of loss sustained by reason of the misrepresentation. If the misrepresentation was made fraudulently, damages in the tort of deceit can be recovered. If it was made without reasonable care being taken to ascertain its truth, the misled party may recover damages by virtue of statute, or at common law in the tort of negligence. Where the party making the misrepresentation believed, and had reasonable grounds to believe, that the facts represented were true, although the contract is still voidable at the suit of the misled party, tortious damages cannot be claimed but damages may sometimes be awarded in lieu of rescission. A misrepresentation made by a trader to a consumer may also constitute a ‘prohibited practice’ under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, which will give the consumer ‘rights to redress’ under the Regulations. A pre-contractual misrepresentation therefore may give rise to a wide range of remedies: rescission of the contract, as well as damages by statute or at common law, in contract or tort.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

9. Misrepresentation  

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. False statements of fact that induce a contract are known as actionable misrepresentations. In case of a misrepresentation, there are different legal remedies for breaches of contract. A misrepresentation renders the contract voidable (liable to be set aside using the remedy of rescission) so that the contract will be treated as if it had never been made, whereas a breach of contract will have no effect on the existence of the contract (in the absence of a repudiatory breach that will terminate the contract when future contractual obligations will be discharged). The chapter identifies actionable misrepresentations and, in particular, loss in instances where there is a duty of disclosure in English law. There are three types of actionable misrepresentations, dependent upon the state of mind of the one who makes the false statement: fraudulent, negligent, and innocent. This chapter looks at the legal remedies for actionable misrepresentations such as rescission, the availability of damages for different types of misrepresentations, and the provisions of the Misrepresentation Act 1967. It also examines the effect of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) as amended on this area of law, the criminal offences and civil remedies for consumers, as well as the relationship of misrepresentation to other areas of law. Finally, it looks at clauses that seek to exclude or limit liability for misrepresentation or to deny any actionable misrepresentation, e.g. ‘non-reliance clauses’.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

17. Misrepresentation  

A misrepresentation induces a party to enter into a contract but typically is not part of the contract itself. The chapter examines the different types of misrepresentation (fraudulent, negligent, or innocent) and the remedies that the law provides in respect of a misrepresentation. The chapter focuses on the liability for misrepresentation. It begins by examining the definition of a misrepresentation. The chapter considers the extent to which English law recognizes the existence of a duty of disclosure and goes on to discuss the concept of rescission. It then explores how misrepresentation gives rise to a claim for damages, with a particular focus on section 2 of the Misrepresentation Act 1967. The final section examines the possibility of excluding liability for misrepresentation.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

9. Misrepresentation  

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. False statements of fact that induce a contract are known as actionable misrepresentations. In case of a misrepresentation, there are different legal remedies for breaches of contract. A misrepresentation renders the contract voidable (liable to be set aside using the remedy of rescission) so that the contract will be treated as if it had never been made, whereas a breach of contract will have no effect on the existence of the contract (in the absence of a repudiatory breach that will terminate the contract when future contractual obligations will be discharged). The chapter identifies actionable misrepresentations and, in particular, loss in instances where there is a duty of disclosure in English law. There are three types of actionable misrepresentations, dependent upon the state of mind of the one who makes the false statement: fraudulent, negligent, and innocent. This chapter looks at the legal remedies for actionable misrepresentations such as rescission, the availability of damages for different types of misrepresentations, and the provisions of the Misrepresentation Act 1967. It also examines the effect of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) as amended on this area of law, the criminal offences, and civil remedies for consumers, as well as the relationship of misrepresentation to other areas of law. Finally, it looks at clauses that seek to exclude or limit liability for misrepresentation or to deny any actionable misrepresentation, e.g. ‘non-reliance clauses’.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

5. Misrepresentation and non-disclosure  

In general, contract parties need not disclose important matters about the transaction to each other. But, those who make false statements to induce the other party’s consent to the contract may find themselves liable for damages for misrepresentation and their contracts set aside. This chapter examines: (1) what must be proved in an action for misrepresentation; (2) what, if any, duty is imposed for non-disclosure; (3) when a contract can be set aside (rescinded) for misrepresentation; (4) the different types of money awards that can be made for misrepresentation; (5) the extent to which the parties can exclude or limit liability for making a misrepresentation; (6) the recourse that consumers have against misleading and aggressive practices; and (7) the justifications underlying the remedies for misrepresentation.

Chapter

Cover O'Sullivan & Hilliard's The Law of Contract

9. Misrepresentation and non-disclosure  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This chapter examines issues related to pre-contractual misrepresentation, which is a vitiating factor. It explains what counts as an actionable misrepresentation and discusses its distinction with the treatment of non-disclosure. It explores the elements for an actionable misrepresentation and the test of cause/reliance. It considers the remedies for misrepresentation, namely rescission which involves setting the contract aside and restoring the parties to the pre-contractual position, and damages, which are available at common law for fraudulent misrepresentation and under the Misrepresentation Act 1967 for other misrepresentations unless the misrepresentor can discharge the burden of reasonable grounds for belief. This chapter also explains that any clause that purports to exclude or restrict liability for misrepresentation is subject to the statutory requirement of reasonableness (for non-consumer contracts), and the normal CRA test of fairness (for consumer contracts).