McCrone v Boots Farm Sales Limited: 1981

The court considered the meaning of ‘standard form contract’ as it applied in Scotland under the 1977 Act: ‘The Act does not define ‘standard form contract’, but its meaning is not difficult to comprehend. In some cases there may be difficulty deciding whether the phrase properly applies to particular contract. I have no difficulty deciding that, upon the assumption that the defenders prove that their general conditions of sale were set out in all their invoices and they were incorporated by implication in their contract with the pursuer, the contract was a standard form contract within the meaning of the said section 17.
Since Parliament saw fit to leave the phrase to speak for itself, far be it from me to attempt to formulate a comprehensive definition of it. However, the terms of s. 17 in the context of this Act make it plain to me that the section is designed to prevent one party to a contract from having his contractual rights, against a party who is in breach of contract, excluded or restricted by a term or condition, which is one of a number of fixed terms or conditions invariably incorporated in contracts of the kind in question by the party in breach, and which have been incorporated in the particular contract in circumstances in which it would be unfair and unreasonable for the other party to have his rights so excluded or restricted. If the section is to achieve its purpose, the phrase ‘standard form contract’ cannot be confined to written contracts in which both parties use standard forms. It is, in my opinion, wide enough to include any contract, whether wholly written or partly oral, which includes a set of fixed terms or conditions which the proponer applies, without material variation, to contracts of the kind in question. It would, therefore, include this contract if the defenders’ general conditions of sale are proved to have been incorporated in it. In that event, it would be for the defenders to prove that it was fair and reasonable for their condition 6 to be incorporated in this contract.’


Lord Dunpark


[1981] SLT 103


Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 17

Cited by:

CitedPegler Ltd v Wang (UK) Ltd TCC 25-Feb-2000
Standard Conract – Wide Exclusions, Apply 1977 Act
The claimant had acquired a computer system from the defendant, which had failed. It was admitted that the contract had been broken, and the court set out to decide the issue of damages.
Held: Even though Wang had been ready to amend one or . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Scotland, Contract, Consumer

Updated: 01 May 2022; Ref: scu.238579