By Gwendoline Davies

Mr Simantob and Mr Shavleyan had a long history of family, community and business ties, both having expertise and trading in antique Islamic, Persian and Turkish textiles.  When a number of claims arising out of their various business arrangements arose, Mr Simantob and Mr Shavleyan chose to resolve matters informally between themselves.  (Whilst the particular products and industry here are relatively specialised, the close relationship between the parties is common in many commercial cases.)

They entered into a settlement agreement and when Mr Shavleyan defaulted, another informal arrangement was reached between them. The latter involved payment of monthly instalments. Unfortunately, after Mr Shavleyan had made, and Mr Simantob had accepted, several instalment payments, a dispute as to the nature of the latter arrangement arose. Mr Shavleyan contended that the instalment arrangement had varied the original settlement agreement, reducing his full and final liability to a lesser sum; but Mr Simantob argued that it was merely a plan for payments to be made periodically on account of Mr Shavleyan’s liability for the full sum due under the original settlement agreement.