The claimant, Roy Hammond, sought damages of £973,264 arising out of the repudiation of a contract to provide central heating and plumbing services to the 130 cottages and other properties on the Glynde Estate in East Sussex, of which the first three defendants were trustees and the fourth defendant was land agent. The contract had been signed by the fourth defendant's assistant, who was also a fellow member with the claimant of a pub darts team on the estate. The contract provided for leasing arrangements in respect of central heating systems and for a payment upon termination of the contract of a sum in excess of the installation costs of the systems, regardless of the amount already paid under the leases. *Full details of case:Roy Hammond vs (1) Nicholas Wellard Smith (2) Nicholas John Elliot Sealy (3) Sarah Blanche Mills (4) Right Honourable Viscount Hampden, 24 March 2003, High Court, Chancery Division, Judgment of N Strauss QC
The court directed the trial of three preliminary issues, namely whether the fourth defendant instructed his assistant to sign the contract on behalf of the first, second and third defendants, and if so, whether he had actual or ostensible authority to do so.