chapter  2
Why has the common law been so reluctant to award interest on debts not paid on time? (Cf Lord Woolf in Westdeutsche Landesbank, p 799.)
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This was an action for damages brought by a seller of three ships against prospective buyers who, in breach of a contract concluded via telexes, failed to sign a formal contract of purchase. The telex contract contained a clause that a deposit of 10% would be payable on the signing of the formal contract. The disappointed sellers claimed this 10% by way of damages, and a majority of the Court of Appeal upheld their claim.