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Kings Norton Metal co ltd v Edridge, Merrett & co ltd (1897) 14 TLR 98

A rogue ordered goods from the claimant using a printed letter head a claiming to be a company called Hallum & co with offices in Belfast Lile and Ghent. In fact no such company existed. The claimant sent out the goods on credit. The rogue sold the goods on to the defendants who purchased them in good faith. The rogue then disappeared without paying for the goods. The claimants brought an action for conversion of the goods based on their unilateral mistake as to identity.

Held: the contract was not void for mistake as they could not identify an existing company called Hallum & co with whom they intended to contract. The mistake was only as to the attributes of the company. The contract was voidable for misrepresentation but that would not stop title passing to the rogue and the defendants therefore acquired good title to the goods.

Back to lecture outline on Mistake in Contract Law