International Trading Contracts: when is a deal binding? Consequences of illegal withdrawal
HFW hosted a seminar on trading disputes, particularly focusing on the formation and repudiation of contracts.
12 December 2013
Senior Associate, Sarah Hunt, presented on the recent English Commercial Court judgment of Proton Energy Group SA v Orlen Lietuva*, which updates the law on contract and makes it clear when a contract becomes binding. The seminar addressed four main issues:
- When does a contract become legally binding?
- When can a trader safely terminate a contract?
- What are the consequences of repudiatory breach?
- What should you do to avoid withdrawal from a binding contract?
The Proton judgment examines when a quality specification forms part of a sale by description, making description a condition as opposed to a warranty; explores misdescription and misrepresentation; and reviews what counterclaims will succeed in a breach of contract. The case also considers Seller's obligations, including providing the minimum quantity of product, obligations as to quality and implied warranties.