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Stuart Benzie acts for asset finance company in successful summary judgment application in the Commercial Court

Posted: 30/11/2022

Stuart acted for Dawsons Bus and Coach, the UK’s leading provider of finance in the truck and bus market, in an application for summary judgment in relation to a £12m claim made by Last Bus Limited (trading as Dublin Bus). The claim related to the supply of 30 Mercedes Benz Tourismo Coaches by Evo Bus (UK) Limited (a UK subsidiary of Daimler AG) where the Claimant alleged that the coaches were defective.

Dawson Bus and Coach supplied the coaches to Last Bus on hire purchase terms that included a term that excluded all representations “implied by law”. The case is a rare case of the application of the reasonableness test in Section 11 of the Unfair Contracts Terms Act 1977 in a summary judgment application and the judge considered the courts’ approach to that test in the context of commercial agreements between parties of broadly equal bargaining strength. The judge endorsed the previous judgments of the Court of Appeal where it has been held that in most circumstances the court should not interfere with commercial agreements on the grounds of reasonableness (see Watford Electronics Limited v Sanderson CFL Limited [2001] EWCA Civ 317).

Andrew Baker J also held that the phrase “terms implied by law” was a clear reference to terms implied by statute and that it was not restricted to terms implied by common law.

Stuart was instructed by Simon Hobbs and Tom Holden of Freeths LLP in Milton Keynes.

The judgment is reported at https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Comm/2022/2971.html&query=(Last)+AND+(Bus) and was also reported in the Irish press https://www.independent.ie/business/dublin-coach-sues-daimler-benz-unit-over-10m-loss-and-damage-42180765.html

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