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Terms and conditions available on request

9 February 2011

Is a phrase like this sufficient to incorporate your terms and conditions into a contract? Quite possibly – according to the Court of Appeal in Rooney & Anor v CSE Bournemouth Ltd 2010.

The case concerned maintenance being carried out on aircraft owned by the claimants. Before carrying out work the defendants would produce a “Work Order” incorporating the words “terms and conditions available on request” at the bottom of the page and would not start work until these terms had been signed.

It is important to note that this was an appeal where the initial order was for a strike out of the defendant’s action. It does not mean that a court would find similarly in every case where a phrase such as this is used, (you might not want to use it as your only limit on liability for instance) but it suggests that you can’t ignore throw away comments such as this, on the assumption that any terms have not been properly incorporated. It is a reminder (if any were needed) that you don’t have to have read terms and conditions to be bound by them.

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