Irwin v Wilson and Others: ChD 23 Feb 2011

The claimant sought a declaration that his contract for the sale of leasehold property to the defendants had been lawfully terminated by a letter from his solicitors. The defendants had moved in before completion, but the claimant found himself unable to comply with a requirement of the contract and purported to rescind and required the defendants to vacate. The defendants waived compliance and sought completion. The buyers now appealed against a finding that the clause had not solely been for their benefit, and that they could not therefore waive its compliance.
Held: The contract had been validly terminated, and the appeal failed: ‘The fact that a contract . . provides . . that completion is to take place a stated number of days after the vendor has shown that he has a particular title to the land in question does not mean that the purchaser cannot waive the vendor’s obligation to show that title merely because to do so ‘will leave the date for completion in the air’ if by that is meant either that the stipulation in question cannot be waived or, if it were otherwise to be waived, the contract will cease to be enforceable.’
Sir William Blackburne
[2011] EWHC 326 (Ch), [2011] 23 EG 88
England and Wales
CitedHawksley v Outram CA 1892
The parties had concluded a contract for the sale of land and a business. The court considered a purported waiver of a non-compete clause, saying: ‘if there is any doubt whether [the provisions of the contract in issue] are binding upon the vendors, . .
CitedHeron Garage Properties Ltd v Moss 1974
A contract for the sale of land was conditional on obtaining planning permission. It was not granted. The purchaser sought to enforce the contract.
Held: He failed. Brightman J said: ‘Without seeking to define the precise limits within which a . .
CitedJoyce Chaitlal and Ganga Persad Chaitlal (in substitution for Kanhai Mahase, deceased) Dhanierami Jaglal and Maharani Jaglal v Chanderlal Ramlal PC 5-Feb-2003
PC (Trinidad and Tobago) The purchaser sought specific performance of an open contract for the sale of land.
Held: If and in so far as a contract for the sale of land does not specify a time for completion, . .
CitedHawker v Vickers 1991
(New Zealand Court of Appeal) The court considered the ability of a party to waive compliance with a condition, saying: ‘there is nothing inconsistent in providing expressly or by necessary implication for unilateral waiver of a condition up to a . .
CitedGlobe Holdings Ltd v Floratos 1998
(New Zealand Court of Appeal) A block of apartments was sold with possession to be given on ‘the first Friday three months after confirmation’. Special conditions required a sub-divisional consent to be obtained within 60 days of acceptance, and . .
CitedSpiro v Glencrown Properties Ltd and Another ChD 1991
The court considered the nature of an option to buy land. Hoffman J said: ‘The granting of the option imposes no obligation upon the purchaser and an obligation upon the vendor which is contingent upon the exercise of the option. When the option is . .
CitedSudbrook Trading Estate Ltd v Eggleton HL 1982
The grantors of an option, which contained a machinery for fixing the price, had refused to appoint a valuer and that made it impossible for the contractual machinery for the valuation of the option price to work. The House of Lords held that the . .
CitedYewbelle Ltd v London Green Developments Ltd, Knightsbridge Green Limited ChD 8-Dec-2006
The court considered what were the obligations undertaken by a party contracting to use reasonable endeavours.
Held: The question is one of substance, not form, to be determined objectively. Lewison J said: ‘the essence of the obligation . .
CitedAkzo Nobel UK Ltd v Arista Tubes Ltd CA 29-Jan-2010
The claimant appealed against rejection of its claim for specific performance of agreements by the defendant to take underleases of factory space. The landlord’s consent was needed, both to the grant of the underleases to Arista and also to an . .
CitedYewbelle Ltd v London Green Developments Ltd and Another CA 23-May-2007
The parties had entered into a contract for the development of land. Two circumstances operated to make it difficult or impossible, and the court was asked whether the contract was frustrated. The vendor was obliged to use all reasonable endeavours . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 05 March 2021; Ref: scu.429734