Contractual construction regarding identity — alleged misnomer

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In Derek Hodd Ltd v Climate Change Capital Ltd [2013] EWHC 1665 (Ch) the defendant disputed the identity of both parties to a contract.

While not technically a ‘misnomer’ case (which is where a party knows who it is to whom he wishes to refer but by mistake he attaches the wrong name to that person), neither party to the contract seemed to have directed its mind to the question of the identity of its counterparty. The court applied normal contractual rules of construction to identify the true parties to the contract.

The claimant, Derek Hood Ltd, claimed to have been assigned the benefit of a 2006 expense reduction consultancy agreement (the agreement) by Zukra Ltd, under which the claimant was entitled to certain fees from the defendant, Climate Change Capital Ltd (CCC). However, before Henderson J could resolve this fees claim, he had to consider the preliminary issue of CCC contesting the identities of both the parties to the agreement…

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