Friday, December 14, 2012

May v. Butcher case brief

May v Butcher

Facts: Parties made an agreement for the supply of the whole stock of the defendant`s material (tentage) with prices and dates of payment to be “agreed from time to time”.

Issue: The contract provided for the reference of any disputes “with reference to and arising out of” the agreement, to go to arbitration. The petition of the “suppliants”, May and Butcher, that there was a binding contract, was finally rejected by the House of Lords on the basis that the terms as to prices and dates of payment were too vague.

Rules: An agreement contained the provision - price and date of payment - ‘shall be agreed upon from time to time’.

Application: since the wording “agreed from time to time”

Conclusion: this was not a contract. An agreement between two parties to enter into an agreement in which some critical part of the contract matter is left undetermined is no contract at all.’


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