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Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

Fourteenth Edition

Robert Merkin QC and Séverine Saintier

July 2019

ISBN: 9780198816980

712 pages

In Stock

Price: £34.99

A student classic: clear, comprehensive, contextual.



The fourteenth edition of this established and popular text provides a clear and commercially-focused exposition of contract law. Case-driven content and succinct explanations are combined with summaries, questions, and examples to allow students to gain a sound understanding of the theory and application of contract law principles.

  • Provides a clear and wide-ranging introduction to contract law which maps well onto undergraduate and GDL courses
  • Presents the information in a straightforward style, allowing students to gain a sound understanding of the main issues, while also addressing some of the complexities of contract law, to encourage a fuller appreciation of the subject
  • Each chapter includes summaries, questions, examples, and a guide to further reading, allowing students to check their understanding and to conduct efficient and well-directed further study
  • Supported by online resources that provide a bank of multiple choice questions and guidance on answering problem questions
  • Suitable for use as a stand-alone textbook, or in conjunction with Poole's Casebook on Contract Law, making it an essential resource for students

New to this edition

  • Strengthened the discussion of the impact of good faith especially in relation to the nascent recognition of relational contracts following Sheikh Tahnoon Al Nehayan v Ioannis Kent [2018]
  • Discussion of the impact of MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd v Rock Advertising Ltd [2018] on the area of consideration
  • New coverage of No Oral Variation clauses (NOM) following Rock Advertising Ltd v Business Exchange Centres Ltd [2018]
  • A substantially redeveloped illegality chapter following Patel v Mirza [2016]
  • A redeveloped chapter on interpretation of contract to accommodate key Supreme Court decisions including Wood v Capita Insurance Services Ltd [2017]
  • Substantial rewrite on the topic of remedies to accommodate the impact of Morris-Garner v One Step (Support) Ltd [2018] on the Attorney General v Blake principle
  • Clarification on the rule on wasted expenditure following Globalia Business Travel SAU of Spain v Fulton Shipping Inc of Panama [2017] on what happens for a benefit received
  • Other important new cases include MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co. SA v Cottonex Anstalt [2016] on breach; Goodlife Foods Limited v Hall Fire Protection Limited [2018]; and Hayward v Zurich Insurance Co. plc [2016] on fraudulent misrepresentation and damages in the light of s. 3 Misrepresentation Act 67 with First Tower Trustees Ltd v CDS (Superstores International) Ltd [2018]

About the Author(s)

Robert Merkin QC, Professor of Commercial Law, Exeter Law School, University of Exeter, and Séverine Saintier, Associate Professor of Law , Exeter Law School, University of Exeter

Robert Merkin is Professor of Law at the University of Exeter and Special Counsel to Duncan Cotterill. He has taught the law of contract for many years. Robert has written a number of texts and articles on contract, insurance and arbitration. He is co-editor of the Lloyd's Law Reports. He was appointed Queen's Counsel (honoris causa) in 2015 and was awarded a higher doctorate by Cardiff University in the same year. In 2018 Rob became Honorary Life President of the International Association of Insurance Law (AIDA). He has co-edited the book Essays in Memory of Professor Jill Poole: Coherence, Modernisation and Integration in Contract, Commercial and Corporate Laws, Routledge (2018).

Séverine Saintier is Associate Professor or Law at the University of Exeter where she teaches contract, commercial, and French contract law. She has authored publications in the field of commercial agency contracts such as Commercial Agency Law: A Comparative Analysis, Ashgate, (2002) and (with J Scholes) Commercial Agents and the Law (2005), LLP. She has also written a number of articles for leading journals including the Journal of Business Law and the European Review of Private Law. Séverine is co-author with Robert of the privity chapter in Essays in Memory of Professor Jill Poole: Coherence, Modernisation and Integration in Contract, Commercial and Corporate Laws, Routledge (2018).

Table of Contents

    1: Introduction to the law of contract
    Part 1 Formation
    2: Agreement
    3: Agreement problems
    4: Enforceability of promises: consideration and promissory estoppel
    5: Intention to be legally bound, formalities and capacity to contract
    Part 2 Content, Interpretation, Performance and Breach
    6: Content of the contract and principles of interpretation
    7: Exemption clauses and unfair contract terms
    8: Breach of contract
    Part 3 Enforcement of Contractual Obligations
    9: Damages for breach of contract
    10: Remedies providing for specific relief and restitutionary remedies
    11: Privity of contract and third party rights
    12: Discharge by frustration: subsequent impossibility
    Part 4 Methods of Policing the Making of the Contract
    13: Non-agreement mistake
    14: Misrepresentation
    15: Duress, undue influence, and unconscionable bargains
    16: Illegality


"The book is bursting with exiting and unique content, it is well presented and is easy to read, it is the only book a contract law student requires" - Phillippa Mckernan, student, Bournemouth University

"Poole has long been the go to text and this edition is reassuringly familiar, combining an accessible style with a rigorously researched, scholarly and enthusiastic approach to the finer details of contract law." - Dr Alice Diver, Senior Lecturer in Law, Liverpool John Moores University

"My overall impression of the book is that it is very accessible, easily understandable, and an excellent all-round textbook in order to give you a good overview of the subject." - Jade-Amanda Laporte, student, City, University of London

"I am particularly impressed by how concise the textbook is when it comes to explaining cases. The core points of each case are mentioned which is very helpful for revision purposes." - Mohammad Imran Malik, student, Kings College London

"Written in the same authoritative style with a good level of detail and good balance between explanation of the law and analysis, evaluation, and critique of the law." - Julia Cressey, Programme Leader and Lecturer, University of Bradford Law School

"Very straightforward and easy to understand; my students would find it engaging." - Lana Ashby, Assistant Professor in Private Law in the Durham Law School and Director of Undergraduate Admissions (Law)

Additional Resources

The study of contract law continues via the online resources, keeping you up to date and helping to consolidate your learning.
- 300 multiple choice questions with answers and feedback
- Self-test questions and answers
- Guidance on answering problem questions in contract law
- Updates on new legislation, cases, and other legal developments

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