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Where there not a sufficient note or memorandum the oral contract

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Chapter 15.1
The Form of the
Contract
At common law there are no formal
requirements for a simple contract.
Oral contracts or contracts concluded by
conduct are as binding as those in writing.
By legislation certain contracts are required to
be:
•in writing, or
•evidenced in writing,
Where the contract is required to be in writing
NO WRITING
=
NO CONTRACT.
Where the contract is required to be evidenced in writing
ORAL CONTRACT
UNENFORCEABLE
WRITTEN EVIDENCE
OF THE CONTRACT
ENFORCEABLE
The Contracts
Enforcement
Act 1956
Section 2(1) the Contracts
 Sales of land
 Other dispositions of land including leases and
grants of easements
 Contracts to mortgage land
 Guarantee of another’s debt or other obligation
Section 2(2) the requirement for enforceability
No contract to which this section applies shall be
enforceable by action unless the contract or some
memorandum or note thereof is in writing and is
signed by the party to be charged therewith or by
some other person lawfully authorised by him.
For an agreement to, say, sell a
piece of land to be enforceable,
there must be
EITHER
a written agreement for sale and purchase of
the land in question,
OR
a valid oral contract for the
sale of land,
AND
a written note or memorandum of the
agreement which the party being sued
on it must have signed.
The memorandum must contain all
the material terms of the agreement.
Hawkins v. Price [1947] 1 All ER 689
The signature of the defendant need not be
a conventional signature but must indicate
an intention to authenticate the contents of
the memorandum.
Cohen v. Roche [1927] 1 KB 169
Where there not a sufficient note or
memorandum the oral contract may
be used as a defence.
The equitable doctrine of
part performance
 Where one party to a valid oral
agreement, say, for the sale of land
 has substantially performed their part of
the contract,
 equity will not permit the other party to
rely on the Act to avoid their obligations
under the oral contract
 where it would be unfair or inequitable to
do so.
Kingswood Estates Ltd v. Anderson [1962] 3 All ER 593
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