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Rectification for mistake: the conflict between common law and equity

A lack of clarity persists in the law of rectification as Alec Samuels explains

1 February 2013

One can hardly believe such things could happen, but they do. In Daventry DC v Daventry and District Housing Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 1153 a local district council, DDC, agreed in principle with a registered social landlord, DDH, to transfer the council housing stock and staff. The district council and the staff wanted the staff to remain in the county council pension fund, which would require the district council staff deficit of £2.4m to be paid to the county council.

The parties agreed, by non-binding prior accord, that the housing association would pay this deficit, which would be reflected in a reduction in the purchase price, and it would take some VAT payments in partial compensation. B was the principal negotiator for the district council and R was the principal negotiator for the housing association. B and the district council, assumed all along that the district council were not going to have to pay the deficit. ...

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