Misrepresentation in Uk Law

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A false statement made to induce a party to enter into a contract. Misprepresentation -- if proved -- renders a contract voidable (see: VoidableContract). Three (perhaps four) factors must be established to succeed in a claim of mispresentation. (i) there must be an unambiguous false statement of existing fact (or perhaps law); (ii) it must be addressed to the party misled; (iii) it must induce the contract; (iv) (perhaps) it must be material, that is, one which would induce a `reasonable man' to contract in those circumstances. Grounds for misrepresentation

(i) There must be an unambiguous statement of existing fact. Since Kleinwort Benson v Lincoln CC (1991) it might be the case that a statement of law may also found a misrepresentation -- although that case concerned resitutionary remedies for money paid under a mistake of law, rather than contract. Three classes of statement are generally not held to be representations: (a) `puffs', (b) opinions, and (c) intentions. (a) It can be difficult to distinguish a misrepresentation from a `puff', that is, an advertising or promotional statement which is not intended to be binding (Dimmock v Hallett (1866), in which it was representated that land was `fertile and improveable). (b) A statement of opinion is not a representation (Bisset v Wilkinson (1927)) unless the opinion of the person making the representation has some special weight, e.g., he or she is a professional employed to give such opinion (Esso v Mardon (1976)). (c) A statement of intention - if honestly held - cannot be a misrepresentation; however, my intention is a fact and it can be dishonestly represented -- Edgington v Fitzmaurice (1885). (ii) The statement must be addressed to the person misled.

(iii) The statement must induce the contract. It need not be the sole inducement (Edgington v Fitzmaurice (1885)). This test will fail when (a) the representee is actually unaware of the representation (Horsfall v Thomas (1862)),...
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