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Bad Bargains

Davies, P; (2019) Bad Bargains. Current Legal Problems , 72 (1) pp. 253-286. 10.1093/clp/cuz008. Green open access

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Abstract

It is often said that the courts will not save parties from bad bargains: as Lord Nottingham observed, even ‘the Chancery mends no man's bargain’. This article considers what is meant by ‘bad bargain’, and argues that courts should be reluctant to develop the law in a way which would allow sophisticated commercial actors to escape bad bargains. This analysis is timely since in the current economic climate a number of long-term contracts have become especially disadvantageous to one party, and one consequence of Brexit is likely to be an increase in instances where one party tries to escape a bad bargain. Sympathy for the party which finds itself subject to a bad bargain has led to pressure on courts to find that an agreement is not binding; to expand the scope of the vitiating factors; and to liberalise the principles of interpretation and rectification, for example. It is suggested that courts should not readily bow to such pressure.

Type: Article
Title: Bad Bargains
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/clp/cuz008
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/clp/cuz008
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: contract; commercial law; freedom of contract; interpretation; implication; rectification; misrepresentation; duress; frustration
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10081855
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