Pagnan SpA v Feed Products Ltd: ChD 1987

An agreement can be enforceable as an agreement on main terms only, with the detailed terms to be agreed later. Bingham J said: ‘The Court’s task is to review what the parties said and did and from that material to infer whether the parties’ objective intentions as expressed to each other were to enter into a mutually binding contract. The Court is not of course concerned with what the parties may subjectively have intended.’ and ‘The judicial task is not to discover the actual intentions of each party; it is to decide what each was reasonably entitled to conclude from the attitude of the other.’ The parties are to be regarded ‘as masters of their contractual fate. It is their intentions which matter and to which the Court must strive to give effect’.

Bingham J
[1987] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 601
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromPagnan SpA v Feed Products Ltd CA 2-Jan-1987
Contractually Bound – but Further Terms to Agree
The parties had gone ahead with performance of the arrangement between them, but without a formal agreement being in place.
Held: Parties may intend to be bound forthwith even though there are further terms still to be agreed. If they then . .
CitedTullis Russell and Co Ltd v Eadie Industries Ltd SCS 31-Aug-2001
The pursuers and defenders disagreed over which of their respective terms and conditions controlled the sale of equipment, under which the pursuers sought damages for faults in the goods. Both quotation, and order purported to include the respective . .
CitedCox v Cox and Skan Dansk Design Limited ChD 27-Apr-2006
Mrs Cox sought to declarations as to the effect of arrangements made on her divorce in an attempt to avoid contentious proceedings. The couple held equal shares in the family business, but the company registers were missing or had never existed. The . .
CitedGiad Hamdo Pipes Complex Company Limited v Wilson Byard Limited (In Receivership) MacLennan for Interdict and Interdict Ad Interim OHCS 30-Dec-2003
. .
CitedSoulsbury v Soulsbury CA 10-Oct-2007
The claimant was the first wife of the deceased. She said that the deceased had promised her a substantial cash sum in his will in return for not pursuing him for arrears of maintenance. The will made no such provision, and she sought payment from . .
CitedRTS Flexible Systems Ltd v Molkerei Alois Muller Gmbh and Company Kg (UK Production) SC 10-Mar-2010
The parties had reached agreement in outline and sought to have the contract formalised, but went ahead anyway. They now disputed whether an agreement had been created and as to its terms if so.
Held: It was unrealistic to suggest that no . .
CitedParties Named In Schedule A v Dresdner Kleinwort Ltd and Another QBD 28-May-2010
The defendant merchant banks resisted two group claims for annual bonuses for 2008 made by the employee claimants. They now sought summary judgment against the claims. The employer had declared a guaranteed minimum bonus pool available to make the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 06 December 2021; Ref: scu.242128