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Burford (Fareham) Ltd v Christian Vision (2005)

Summary

The Court ordered rectification of an assignment.

Facts

The claimant and the defendant entered into an agreement which provided (inter alia) that warranties held by the claimant would be assigned to the defendant. The assignment of certain such warranties (the A Warranties) was to be unconditional and to take place straightaway. The assignment of the remainder of the warranties (the B Warranties) was, in contrast, to take place at a later date, and to be subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions.
The claimant contended that, as a result of an error by its solicitors, an assignment entered into by the parties provided for the assignment of both the A Warranties and the B Warranties, in circumstances that the relevant conditions in relation to the assignment of the B Warranties had not been fulfilled, and the contractual time for the assignment of the B Warranties had not yet arrived.
The claimant applied for the rectification of the assignment, so as to remove from it reference to the B warranties, in order that the claimant could continue to enjoy the benefit of the B Warranties until they fell to be assigned pursuant to the terms of the agreement. The defendant did not oppose the claim.

Held

It was obvious that the agreement accurately reflected the parties’ intentions at all material times. The B Warranties were included within the assignment as a result of a mistake by the claimant’s solicitors. There was no blanket rule that rectification should not be ordered by consent. It is a question for the court’s discretion. In the circumstances of the case, the Court had no hesitation in granting the relief sought.

Claim granted.

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Judgment
07 Oct 2005

Chancery Division
Collins J

References
[2005] EWHC 2553(Ch), [2005] All ER (D) 69 (Oct)

Members
Adam Smith