Forrest v The Scottish County Investment Co Ltd: HL 18 Oct 1915

Under a building contract based upon plans and a detailed schedule or estimate, a builder completed certain tenements, handed them over to the proprietors, and received from the measurers and architect the final certificates for payment. On the builder suing upon the certificates the proprietors pleaded that, the work done being disconform to contract, they could not be sued upon the contract. The tenements were proved to be substantial, of good workmanship and good material, and similar in appearance to others previously erected for the same proprietors. The plea depended upon the fact that certain rybats were not of the size specified. The size was given in the schedule, but the plans did not in any way show it. The architect had instructed the builder to carry out the work as in the previously erected tenements, and had from time to time passed it.
The schedule contained this condition-‘The whole materials and workmanship to be of the best description and completed in accordance with the drawings, in an expeditious and tradesman-like manner, to the entire satisfaction of the proprietors and architect, or any person appointed to inspect the work; and power is reserved to increase, lessen, or omit any part of the work. The work will be measured when finished by J. H. Bradshaw and Craig, I.M., measurers, 122 Wellington Street, Glasgow, and charged at the rates contained in this schedule or others in proportion thereto, and in proportion to slump sum in letter of offer. Any extra prices to be revised and adjusted by the measurers to correspond with the foresaid rates.’
Held (dub. Lord Atkinson) that the architect had not exceeded his powers, that the builder was not in breach, and so was entitled to recover the sum sued for.


The Lord Chancellor (Buckmaster), Lord Atkinson, Lord Parmoor, and Lord Wrenbury


[1915] UKHL 7, 53 SLR 7






Updated: 26 April 2022; Ref: scu.620699