Damm v Herrtage: ChD 1974

Sir John Pennycuick VC said: ‘A lay vendor and purchaser normally discuss terms in the expectation that if they reach agreement in principle, the terms will be incorporated in a written document with a number of other terms, and that they will not be contractually bound until that written document is signed. It is, of course, possible for them to bind themselves orally, and the purchaser may make it clear to the vendor that that is what he is proposing, but bearing in mind the normal practice in this connection, there is obviously room for misunderstanding, and worse, in this transaction at an oral interview from discussion to binding contract . . If indeed the parties intend to bind themselves forthwith, the obvious and straightforward course would be for both of them to sign a document containing the terms of the contract and for that document to be described as an agreement.’


Sir John Pennycuick VC


(1974) 234 EG 365


England and Wales


Updated: 24 July 2022; Ref: scu.538775