Astea (UK) Ltd v Time Group Ltd: TCC 9 Apr 2003

The question of whether a reasonable time has been exceeded in performance of a contract is ‘a broad consideration, with the benefit of hindsight, and viewed from the time at which one party contends that a reasonable time for performance has been exceeded, of what would, in all the circumstances which are by then known to have happened, have been a reasonable time for performance. That broad consideration is likely to include taking into account any estimate given by the performing party of how long it would take him to perform; whether that estimate has been exceeded and, if so, in what circumstances; whether the party for whose benefit the relevant obligation was to be performed needed to participate in the performance, actively, in the sense of collaborating in what was needed to be done, or passively, in the sense of being in a position to receive performance, or not at all; whether it was necessary for third parties to collaborate with the performing party in order to enable it to perform; and what exactly was the cause, or were the causes of the delay to performance. The list is not intended to be exhaustive. ‘


His Honour Judge Richard Seymour QC


[2003] EWHC 725 (TCC), [2003] All ER (D) 212, [2007] Lloyds Rep PN 21




England and Wales


CitedHick v Raymond and Reid HL 1893
The House was asked whether the consignee of a cargo was in breach of a contractual obligation to discharge the relevant vessel within a reasonable time, that is to say, a single obligation to do something within a reasonable time, rather than an . .
CitedCharles Rickards Ltd v Oppenheim CA 1950
A buyer of a Rolls-Royce motor chassis agreed for a body to be built upon it by a fixed date. The body was not completed by that date, but after pressing for delivery, he gave a notice that unless delivery of the car with a completed body was . .
CitedUniversal Cargo Carriers Corporation v Citati 1957
The shipowners had cancelled a voyage charter-party because no cargo had been provided. The court asked what delay could lead to a claim for a repudiatory breach of a contract. Devlin J said: ‘This case gives rise to a difficult question. How long . .
CitedHong Kong Fir Shipping Co v Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd CA 20-Dec-1961
The plaintiffs had recently acquired the ship the ‘Hong Kong Fir’ and contracted to charter it to the defendants, but being late in delivering it, the defendants cancelled the charterparty contract. The plaintiffs said the repudiation was wrongful, . .
CitedLatvian Shipping Company and Others v Stocznia Gdanska Sa CA 21-Jun-2002
A payment condition was just that and that a failure to pay entitled the seller to terminate at common law. Rix LJ said: ‘It is established law that, where one party to a contract has repudiated it, the other may validly accept that repudiation by . .
CitedRightside Properties Ltd v Gray ChD 1975
The vendor had served an invalid notice to complete on the purchaser. When the purchaser did not comply with the notice the vendor purported to terminate the contract by accepting the purchaser’s alleged repudiation. Walton J held that it was in . .
CitedDimsdale Developments (South East) Ltd v De Haan 1983
The court considered the interpretation of clauses allowing a notice to complete a contract for the sale of land. Godfrey QC said: ‘In my judgment this notice, served as it was under cover of the letter of November 10, 1981, referring to the . .
CitedCountry and Metropolitan Homes Surrey Ltd v Topclaim Ltd 1996
The issue was the proper construction and effect of condition 6.8 of the Standard Conditions of Sale, 2nd edition, in relation to the giving of a notice to complete a contract for the sale of land.
Held: The condition provided exclusively for . .
CitedMcDonald v Dennys Lascelles Ltd 1-Mar-1933
(High Court of Australia) ‘When a party to a simple contract, upon breach by the other contracting party of a condition of the contract, elects to treat the contract as no longer binding upon him, the contract is not rescinded as from the beginning. . .
CitedModern Engineering (Bristol) Ltd v Gilbert Ash (Northern) Ltd HL 1974
The court considered how to construe a clause in a contract which excluded a remedy provided by law. Lord Diplock said: ‘It is, of course, open to parties to a contract . . to exclude by express agreement a remedy for its breach which would . .
CitedHyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd v Papadopoulos HL 1980
A shipbuilding contract provided that the second instalment of the contract price should be payable on a day certain. It gave the builders the right to rescind the contract in the event of non-payment. The buyers failed to pay the second instalment, . .
CitedCullinane v British ‘Rema’ Manufacturing Co Ltd CA 1954
The court considered the possibility of a claim in breach of contract for damages for both capital loss and loss of profit.
Lord Evershed MR said: ‘It seems to me, as a matter of principle, that the full claim of damages in the form in which . .
CitedSouth West Water Services Ltd v International Computers Ltd 29-Jun-1999
The court looked at an allegation that there had been a total failure of consideration: ‘In my view the hardware did not have any significant value to SWW in itself (except for a minimal second hand value). Equally I am satisfied that the customer . .
CitedBank of Boston Connecticut v European Grain and Shipping Ltd (‘The Dominique’) HL 1989
A shipping company and a shipper responsible for the freight disputed the effect of their contract. The ship was duly loaded with its cargo and set out for the voyage from India to Europe. The bills of lading were signed. When the ship called at . .

Cited by:

CitedPeregrine Systems Ltd v Steria Ltd CA 14-Mar-2005
The claimant provided computer software to the defendants. The defendants appealed dismissal of their defences arguing that the system had failed.
Held: No repudiatory breach was established, and moreover Steria had elected to affirm the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property, Contract

Updated: 06 December 2022; Ref: scu.180764