British Crane Hire Corporation Ltd v Ipswich Plant Hire Ltd [1975] QB 303

Key point

  • Terms that are accepted trade practice can be deemed to be incorporated into contracts without express provision


  • C and D had dealt before on two occasions, and printed forms were used
  • C leased a crane to D, a printed form was sent to D but D did not sign it
  • The crane sank into marshland, leading to high cost of recovery
  • C sought to recover from D
  • C argued that the terms in the printed form were incorporated into oral contract and under those terms D had to indemnify C

Held (Court of Appeal)

  • D is liable to indemnify C
  • The indemnity terms were incorporated by trade practice, not by course of dealing

Lord Denning MR

  • The two transactions were not sufficient to establish a course of dealing
  • However, the parties knew that firms in the trade always imposed the same conditions
  • Thus, the terms are incorporated by their common understanding derived from conduct