Exclusion clauses
Exclusion clauses

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Exclusion clauses

2.1 Signed contracts

The general rule is that an exclusion clause in a signed contract is binding, regardless of whether or not it was read by the parties. This is demonstrated by L’Estrange v F Graucob Ltd [1934] 2 KB 394.

Box 3 L’Estrange v F Graucob Ltd [1934] 2 KB 394

Mrs L’Estrange purchased a cigarette machine from the defendant for use in her café. At the time of purchase she signed a form which included a clause excludeing all implied conditions and warranties. The machine did not work properly and Mrs L’Estrange claimed there was an implied warranty that it was fit for purpose. The High Court held that by signing the form Mrs L’Estrange had agreed to be bound by its terms, regardless of whether or not she had read them. Therefore, the defendant could rely on the exclusion clause.

The rule that exclusion clauses in signed contracts are binding on the parties is not applied where there has been fraud or misrepresentation as to the scope or effect of the clause. This is illustrated by Curtis v Chemical Cleaning & Dyeing Co [1951] 1 KB 805. Here the defendant’s shop assistant innocently misrepresented the scope of the exclusion clause in the document Mrs Curtis was signing. As a result, the clause was held not to be incorporated into the contract.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371