The parties contracted for building work to the claimant’s shop. The shop-keeper had been regularly late in making stage payments. Eventually the contractor repudiated the contract part way through. The judge proposed a decision on a preliminary issue as to who had repudiated the contract, but one party was not available to be examined in person. The judge proceeded in his absence.
Held: A judge hearing a Part 24 application for summary judgement must be careful about trying issues of fact, but both counsel had consented to the approach. The judge had held that the claimant had himself repudiated the contract by failing to make payments, and the claimant appealed said that such failure did not do to the root of the contract so as to amount to a repudiation. The difference is between a party merely dragging his heels in paying, and one whose late payments justify the conclusion of his inability or unwillingness to pay. Here the defendant had not made any formal demand sufficient to put the claimant on notice that his conduct would be treated as a repudiation.
Lord Justice Potter, And, Sir Martin Nourse
 EWCA Civ 1818
England and Wales
Cited – Ross T Smyth and Co Ltd v Bailey Son and Co HL 1940
The court looked to what had to be shown for one party to a contract to take the actions of the other as a repudiation.
Lord Wright said that: ‘repudiation of a contract is a serious matter, not to be lightly found or inferred’ and ‘I do not . .
Cited – Decro-Wall International SA v Practitioners in Marketing Limited CA 1971
Once the court has concluded that a ‘reasonable notice’ requirement was to be implied into a contract, the question of what notice period was reasonable must be judged as at the time the notice was given.
Buckley LJ also set out the test for . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Construction, Contract, Litigation Practice, Civil Procedure Rules
Updated: 05 June 2022; Ref: scu.166953