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Repeat what I just said, please

Reference has been made in this blog to the impracticality of litigants, generally, representing themselves.

In short, a lawyer is generally needed.

The same dictum applies in the conclusion of complex contracts.

In O’Mahony v Patrick O’Connor Builders Ltd. the parties agreed that the defendant do some building work for the plaintiff. When difficulties arose the parties agreed to the preparation of a report by an independent surveyor who would value certain works.

The defendant contended that the outcome of the valuation was binding on the parties.

(The plaintiff was denying that, and was asking the court to revisit the valuation issues).

As the court noted, there was not a clear contract in writing agreed between the parties. (Drawings and specifications were not sufficient to meet the need).

Consequently, through no fault of the valuer he had not executed his task on terms agreed between the parties. In particular, the valuer had made his report final without notifying the parties in advance; advance notice by the valuer before doing so had been a term of the agreement between the parties.

Consequently, the valuation was not binding and the issues, apparently settled by the valuation, were still at large.