Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

UK 200 2013 position: 25

The importance of ensuring service

In the case of T&L Sugars Ltd v Tate & Lyle Industries Ltd [2014], the Commercial Court considered the meaning of ‘service’ in the context of warranty claims in a share and business sale agreement. While the court’s decision was obviously specific to the particular contract being considered, many agreements will have similar wording.

The court was asked to decide, as a preliminary issue, whether or not a claim had been ‘issued and served’ in time within the meaning of a share and business sale agreement. Clause 11.2 of the agreement required that warranty claims be notified in writing within 18 months; and clause 11.3 provided that such claims would be deemed irrevocably withdrawn unless, within 12 months thereafter, ‘legal proceedings in respect of the relevant claim have been commenced by being both issued and served’.

The claimant gave the defendant notice of warranty claims on 30 March 2012, the last day of the 18-month period stated in clause 11.2. The claimant’s solicitors issued the claim form on 27 March 2013, and delivered it the same day, by hand, to the offices of the defendant’s solicitors…

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55 Colmore Row
B3 2AS

Turnover (£m): 120.50
No. of Lawyers: 458