Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2005] All ER (D) 241 (Nov)
Neutral Citation: [2005] EWCA Civ 1359
Court: Court of Appeal, Civil Division

May, Jacob and Lloyd LJJ

Representation David Thomas QC and Adam Constable (instructed by Hill Dickinson) for the claimant.
  David Friedman QC and Andrew Singer (instructed by George Davis) for DGP.
  Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC and Graeme McPherson (instructed by Mayer Brown Roy & Maw LLP) for the insurers.
Judgment Dates: 18 November 2005


Contract - Time - Time of the essence - Variation - Original condition in regard to time waived - Variation - Defendant having to complete work within a reasonable time - Contract subsequently terminated - Whether defendant having completed work within reasonable time.

The Case

Having stated that what was a reasonable time had to be judged as at the time when the question arose in the light of all the relevant circumstances but that even if time was not the essence, it was theoretically possible for a party to show that another party's delay was so profound as to be repudiatory; and that what had to be shown was, not mere breach, but a breach of such gravity as to deprive the other party of substantially the whole benefit which it was the intention of the parties they should obtain from the contract, the Court of Appeal determined, on the facts that the defendant had kept within the reasonable time requirement, when providing design proposal drawings in relation to the proposed construction of a process plant at Sellafield.

Practice Areas

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