Hardstaff v Fred Sherwood and Sons (Transport) Limited

The CHO wanted to bring your attention to an appeal heard recently in Cardiff CC by Mr Justice Zacaroli in which Principia Law successfully appealed the 1st instance decision of DJ Morgan,


DJ Morgan had dismissed a Claimant’s claim for credit hire, as found the rental agreement unenforceable. DJ Morgan’s reasoning was the Claimant had not been given an explanation as to her liability at the time of entering into the hire contract, further the Claimant had insurance providing a courtesy vehicle and that was what she thought she was getting.

HHJ Harrison gave Principia Law permission to appeal in March.

Appeal findings

  • Those reasons (cited by J Morgan) don’t amount in law to a valid ground to find the agreement unenforceable.
  • Clearly established law that agreement not rendered unenforceable because party did not read or understand the terms.
  • There is no finding of misrepresentation, and indeed no ground to find so.
  • The fact she had insurance does not mean the agreement is unenforceable. D cannot benefit from C having an alternative source of recovery under the benefits of their own insurance.

Principia Law have commented that they have seen similar approaches from defendant solicitors to raise enforceability in defences, but often these arguments are dropped at trial.

The leadings authority continues to be : Irving v Morgan Sindall PLC [2018] EWHC 1147 (QB).

The CHO will share a transcript of the appeal with members when available.