Office of Fair Trading v Foxtons Ltd: ChD 17 Jul 2008

Complaint was made that the Foxtons standard terms of acting in residential lettings were unfair. Foxtons objected to the jurisdiction of the Claimant to intervene.
Held: On a challenge to an individual contract, the court would be able to see the term in the particular context and be better able to see its fairness or otherwise. Nevertheless it was necessary to make the Regulations work in the context of this a pre-emptive challenge by taking the case of typical parties. This was not the basis on which an individual’s challenge would be heard. The OFT was entitled to make this challenge. An injunction if granted should not prevent Foxtons arguing in any particular case of a contract already in existence that the circumstances of that particular case made the term fair for that consumer. Once the pleadings had been amended to omit reference to particular cases, the court would have power to grant the appropriate injunction if it felt necessary.
Morgan J
[2008] EWHC 1662 (Ch)
Council Directive 93/13/EEC on Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999
England and Wales
CitedDirector General of Fair Trading v First National Bank Plc ChD 30-Jul-1999
The claimants sought an injunction under the regulations to prevent the defendant bank from including in any of its agreements a clause allowing them to claim interest on judgments on regulated agreements. . .
CitedDirector General of Fair Trading v First National Bank Plc CA 15-Sep-1999
A bank had a clause in its standard terms which provided that it could continue to recover interest at the contract rate after judgment for default. The clause was an unfair term. The clause allowed a bank to impose an arrangement for repayment by . .
CitedDirector General of Fair Trading v First National Bank HL 25-Oct-2001
The House was asked whether a contractual provision for interest to run after judgment as well as before in a consumer credit contract led to an unfair relationship.
Held: The term was not covered by the Act, and was not unfair under the . .
CitedBryen and Langley Ltd v Boston CA 29-Jul-2005
The special facts surrounding the agreement of the standard term at issue were such that the court held that it could not possibly say that there had been a breach of the principle of fair dealing and that rendered it unnecessary for the court to . .
CitedOceano Grupo Editorial SA v Quintero ECJ 2000
The court asked whether, in a case brought against an individual consumer, the court could investigate the unfairness of the relevant term of the contract at issue of its own motion.
Held: In such a case the court could act of its own motion. . .
CitedElisa Maria Mostaza Claro v Centro Movil Milenium SL ECJ 26-Oct-2006
ECJ Directive 93/13/EEC – Unfair terms in consumer contracts – Failure to raise the unfair nature of a term during arbitration proceedings – Possibility of raising that objection in the context of an action . .
CitedFreiburger Kommunalbauten GmbH Baugesellschaft and Co. KG v Ludger Hofstetter, Ulrike Hofstetter ECJ 1-Apr-2004
ECJ Directive 93/13/EEC – Unfair terms in consumer contracts – Contract for the building and supply of a parking space – Reversal of the order of performance of contractual obligations provided for under national . .
CitedFinancial Services Authority v Rourke ChD 19-Oct-2001
The applicant sought a declaration that the defendant had acted in breach of the Act, in accepting sums by way of deposit, without being authorised, and had made prohibited statements to attract such deposits. Could a civil court make such a finding . .
CitedPadden v Arbuthnot Pensions and Investments Ltd CA 14-May-2004
. .
CitedOffice of Fair Trading v MB Designs (Scotland) Limited Martin Black Paul Bradley Bett OHCS 29-Jun-2005
The Office sought an order to enforce obligations under the 2002 Act against a trader. He argued that some of the acts complained of preceded the coming into force of the Act.
Held: The Act sought to protect the interests of consumers in . .
CitedGouriet v Union of Post Office Workers HL 26-Jul-1977
The claimant sought an injunction to prevent the respondent Trades Union calling on its members to boycott mail to South Africa. The respondents challenged the ability of the court to make such an order.
Held: The wide wording of the statute . .
CitedOffice of Fair Trading v Abbey National Plc and seven Others ComC 24-Apr-2008
The Office sought a declaration that the respondent and other banks were subject to the provisions of the Regulations in their imposition of bank charges to customer accounts, and in particular as to the imposition of penalties or charges for the . .
CitedMeadows Indemnity Co Ltd v The Insurance Corporation of Ireland plc and Another CA 1989
A claim was made for declaratory relief.
Held: The Claimant, a re-insurer, did not have locus to claim a declaration that the main insurer could avoid the main contract of insurance, to which the Claimant was not a party. The court considered . .
CitedFeetum v Levy CA 2006
Jonathan Parker LJ discussed the granting of declarations: ‘things have indeed moved on since the Meadows case was decided; and the courts should not nowadays apply such a restrictive meaning to the passage in Lord Diplock’s speech in Gouriet’s . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromOffice Of Fair Trading v Foxtons Ltd CA 2-Apr-2009
The OFT had sought and obtained an injunction regarding the use of certain standard terms in their estate agency business. Both parties appealed.
Held: The OFT’s appeal succeeded. The court had been wrong to restrict the effect of the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 20 May 2021; Ref: scu.270958