Addleshaw Goddard

UK 200 2013 position: 23

Supreme Court rules on misrepresentation in pre-contractual negotiations

In Cramaso LLP v Ogilvie-Grant, Earl of Seafield and others [2014] UKSC 9, the Supreme Court considered whether a party could be liable for a negligent pre-contractual misrepresentation in circumstances where the party to which the representation was originally made was not the ultimate contracting party. The court held that where there was a continuing representation that remained in effect until the contract was concluded, it may continue to have causative effect even where the contracting parties are not the same parties who made the statement or who the statement was originally intended for.

Ogilvie-Grant’s surveyor, Mr Kennedy, contacted Mr Erskine, who had previously expressed an interest in taking a lease of a grouse moor owned by Ogilvie-Grant. Mr Kennedy was employed to assist in attracting a tenant for the land. After visiting and shooting on the moor, Mr Erskine emailed Mr Kennedy expressing concern that the shooting planned for that season would leave an inadequate breeding population. Mr Erskine said that he was not qualified to quantify the damage that the shooting was doing to stocks, but he thought it was not insignificant. Mr Kennedy forwarded the email to Mr Lewis, Ogilvie-Grant’s chief executive, expressing his own view that the estate had been overshot to the extent that a lease might not be possible…

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