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Allen v ASD – limitation of liability clause caps claim from £7million to £705

Ben Quiney successfully represented ASD on a preliminary contractual issue in the case of Allen Fabrications Ltd v ASD Ltd [2012] EWHC 2213 (TCC). HHJ Waksman KC found that the limitation of liability clauses in ASD’s standard terms and conditions were agreed to, incorporated and reasonable. The effect of this was to cap the recoverable damages to £705 rather than the £7million claimed. An unusual feature of the case was Allen’s reliance on the speech of Lord Bridge in George Mitchell Ltd v Finney Lock Seeds Ltd [1983] 2 AC 803. This was to the effect that there was an industry practice not to rely on such clauses. This was rejected. It must be doubted whether Lord Bridge’s speech is still applicable in modern commercial transactions and if it is what evidence can or should be adduced to support such an argument.

A copy of the judgment here and a useful note on the implications of the case can be found here.

Ben was instructed by DAC Beachcroft.

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