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A Restatement of the English Law of Contract

View profile for Jonathan Haydn-Williams
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'A Restatement of the English Law of Contract': Andrew Burrows and an Advisory Group: Oxford University Press 2016.

The first US 'Restatement of Contracts' was published by the American Law Institute in 1933, with the second edition in 1981. An equivalent Restatement of English and Welsh ('E&W') contract law was thus a long time coming. Now it is here it is welcome, but seems to have too low a profile at present and deserves a higher one.

To have a succinct (re)statement of the main principles of E&W contract law renders it more accessible to overseas lawyers, judges and arbitrators, as well non-lawyers everywhere. Although our law is held in high regard overseas, its case-law nature can make it difficult for non-E&W lawyers and others to understand it.

Like its US equivalent, the E&W Restatement is intended to be persuasive, not binding, albeit that its layout in numbered parts and sections has the look of a statute. It extends to 35 pages, followed by a commentary, and cost me £35. In the next edition, the title really should include the adjective 'Welsh', rather than just 'English', and a reference to consideration having to move from one party, but not necessarily to the other party, would not go amiss.


This guide is for general information and interest only and should not be relied upon as providing specific legal advice. If you require any further information about the issues raised in this article please contact the author or call 0207 404 0606 and ask to speak to your usual Goodman Derrick contact.