The Supreme Court in RTS Flexible Systems Ltd v. Molkerei Alois Muller Gmbh & Company KG (UK Production)  UKSC 14 was faced with the question often posed in cases brought to the TCC. This is whether there was a contract between the parties and if so, what were the terms of that contract? In VHE Construction Plc v. Alfred McAlpine Construction Ltd  EWHC Technology 370, HHJ Bowsher QC remarked that this question [was] ‘probably the most frequent issue raised in the construction industry. On projects involving thousands and sometimes millions of pounds, when a dispute arises about payment, the first issue very often is to decide whether there was a contract and if so what were the terms of the contract, if any.’ It is not only in construction that this question has to be decided. Cooke J in the Commercial Court in Glencore Energy UK Ltd v. Cirrus Oil Services Ltd  EWHC 87 (Comm) observed that the principles to be applied in deciding whether or not a contract had been concluded by emails between the parties were those laid down by the Supreme Court in RTS. So did Air Studios (Lyndhurst) Ltd (t/a Air Entertainment Group) v. Lombard North Central Plc  EWHC 3162 (QB), where the issue was whether a contract for the sale of secondhand electronic equipment was made by email. Stuart-Smith J also applied RTS in Purton (t/a Richwood Interiors) v. Kilker Projects Ltd  EWHC 2624 (TCC).
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