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| less than a minute read

It’s their mistake, but is it their problem?

I was fortunate enough to buy a house this week (and take on a huge debt, obviously). When the sellers’ solicitor sent through the contract, they got the price wrong by £50,000, in our favour. They made a clear mistake. It reminded me of a case I'd seen recently where a Part 36 offer had been made with a typo in it. The recipients tried to hold the offerors to the typo-ridden offer.

Could we have just ignored the £50,000 typo and seen if the transaction would have gone through for £50,000 less? Definitely.

Would the sellers have been able to come after us for £50,000? Given that we knew they’d made a mistake, the answer is almost certainly yes.

The Part 36 case I mentioned confirms this, albeit it also confirms that the "doctrine of mistake" applies within Part 36 offers too, which the recipients tried to argue against.

So whilst it was their mistake, it wasn't just their problem.

not at the expense of obvious injustice and the overriding objective


dispute resolution, commercial