Frederick E Rose (London) Ltd v William H Pim Junior & Co Ltd
Court of Appeal
Citations:  2 QB 450;  3 WLR 497;  2 All ER 739;  2 Lloyd’s Rep 238; (1953) 70 RPC 238;  CLY 664.
The claimants received a third-party order for ‘Moroccan horsebeans described in Egypt as feveroles’. A feverole is a specific type of horsebean. The claimant’s agent did not know what a feverole was, so they asked one of the defendant’s agents. The defendant’s agent responded that they were normal horsebeans and that the defendant could supply them. On this basis, the claimant contracted to purchase ‘horsebeans’ from the defendant. In fact, the beans supplied were not feveroles.
The claimant sought damages for breach of contract. To achieve this, they applied to the court to rectify the contract to add the word ‘feveroles’ after the word ‘horsebeans’. They argued that there had been a mutual mistake, such that the written contract did not reflect the parties’ true intentions.
- Was the claimant entitled to rectification?
The Court held in favour of the defendant. Though the parties were subjectively mistaken as to the nature of ‘feveroles’ and ‘horsebeans’, their objective conduct indicated only an intention to contract for ‘horsebeans’. As such, the claimant was not entitled to rectification.
This Case is Authority For…
Rectification is only available where there is clear proof that the written agreement does not correspond to the contract the parties entered into. It cannot make a new contract. The courts must examine their objective evidence – the subjective beliefs of the parties are not relevant.
A buyer who accepts goods, knowing that they do not conform to the contract, loses their right to rescind the contract.