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Tom Ogden and Will Harman succeed in PPE contract claim

News & Judgments
5 September 2022

Last week the High Court handed down judgment dismissing an $11 million claim relating to PPE procurement for the NHS at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. The case involved important issues for PPE claims and sale of goods disputes more generally including the status of intermediaries, imputation of knowledge and the effect of a pro forma invoice.

The claimant claimed to have entered into a binding contract in May 2020 for the sale and purchase of 110 million surgical face masks with the defendant for onward sale to the Department of Health and Social Care. Following a trial across five days in January and February 2022, HHJ Halliwell (sitting as a Judge of the High Court) held that no binding contract had been formed, including on the basis that an individual ‘broker’ who had passed information between the parties acted as a dual agent whose knowledge that the defendant did not intend to enter into a binding agreement was to be imputed to the claimant.

Thomas Ogden and William Harman acted for the successful defendant. The judgment is available here.

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Thomas Ogden

Call: 2008

William Harman

Call: 2016

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